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US voices concern about stability of Pakistan government

WASHINGTON: US Sec­retary of State Rex Tillerson said after a meeting with Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday that he believed the United States had a reliable partner in Pakistan.

In his brief remarks to the media following the meeting, Sec­retary Tillerson expressed concerns about the future of Pakistan’s government, stressing that Washington wanted a stable government in Islamabad.

While the secretary’s remarks about the future of US and Pakistan’s relationship came as a pleasant surprise for Pakistan observers in Washington, his comments on stability of the government in Islamabad alarmed many. This marks the first time a US official has publicly addressed the political conflict in Islamabad, clearly backing the political setup.

When asked if the meeting with Pakistan’s foreign minister had convinced him that the United States had a reliable partner in Pakistan, Secretary Tillerson respon­ded: “Yes, I believe we do.”

The top US diplomat added that US-Pakistan relationship held extraordinary importance in the region. “And as we rolled out the South Asia strategy, we spoke about it in a regional context,” he said.