US Doesn’t ‘Enjoy’ Dealing With Pakistan, Wants to Expand Ties With India, Says State Secretary Rex Tillerson

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Pakistan on Special Watch List For ‘Severe Violations of Religious Freedom’: US Department of State

Secretary of State, in accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, annually designates governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom as “Countries of Particular Concern”.

Washington, Dec 13: US secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Tuesday said that the two things he doesn’t like about his job are dealing with Pakistan and North Korea. Speaking at a town hall meeting with state department employees, Tillerson said, “Look, this is a hard job…The actual task at hand, dealing with North Korea, I don’t enjoy that… Dealing with Pakistan, I don’t enjoy.”

Tillerson also said that the United States cannot continue dealing with Pakistan considering its record on terror. He added the US wants to expand ties with India because of their shared interests such as the economy and national security. The two countries also agree on terror emerging from Pakistan and it providing safe havens to terrorists. (Also Read: US to Test Pakistan by Giving Another Chance to Act Against Terrorists: Rex Tillerson)

“The US has had a trilateral relationship in the Indo-Pacific between Japan, Australia, and the US, and we’re now working towards whether this will become a quad relationship to include India because of the importance of India’s rising economy as well and I think shared national security concerns that we have with India,” he said. (Also Read: United States Supports Sale of Fighter Jets to India, Says American Diplomat)

In another address at the 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum in Washington, Rex Tillerson spoke about Pakistan and said that the United States is willing to share information with Pakistan and wants them to be successful in dealing with emanating terror from their land but, he said, “we cannot continue with the status quo, where terrorist organizations are allowed to find safe haven inside of Pakistan.”

Tillerson also acknowledged that ties with Pakistan have “really deteriorated” in the last decade. “Pakistan has allowed so many terrorist organisations to find safe haven within its territories, and these organizations are growing in size and influence, that at some point I have said to the leadership of Pakistan, you may be the target, and they turn their attention from Kabul and decide they like Islamabad as a target better,” said Tillerson.

The US state secretary said the US wants to work with Pakistan to clear the country off terrorism, but “Pakistan has to begin the process of changing its relationship with the Haqqani Network and with others”.

“I understand that this is a relationship that has emerged probably for, in their view, good reasons a decade ago, but now that relationship has to be altered because they, if they’re not careful, Pakistan is going to lose control of their own country,” he added.