Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Ghani Has Promised Enforcing Reforms: Tillerson

Ghani Has Promised Enforcing Reforms: Tillerson

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday said the road to a stable, sovereign, unified and democratic Afghanistan requires the Afghan government to advance its commitment to reform.
“President Ghani assured me that he and his government are working towards reforms, particularly anticorruption efforts to achieve real progress for the Afghan people,” Tillerson told reporters in Geneva, the last leg of his foreign travel.
Drumming up regional support for President Donald Trump’s South Asia policy, the secretary of state has already made stopovers in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
“Our goal is to work with our regional partners to root out terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan so that South Asia can enter a period of peace and prosperity,” he said.
Responding to questions on the statements coming from Pakistani leaders after his visits, Tillerson denied reports that he had lectured or dictated them.
“We had the joint meeting with Prime Minister Abbasi and the full leadership team.  And then I had a second meeting with Gen. Bajwa and a couple of his close advisers, so we could have a more thorough discussion about some of the specifics,” he said.
Nothing could be achieved by lecturing, but there should be clarity about US expectations, he said, adding the US was going to chart its course consistent with what Pakistan not just said but what they actually did.
He continued the future course of action would be based on conditions on the ground, as the entire South Asia strategy was a conditions-based policy.
Tillerson said his message to Islamabad was: “Here’s what we need for Pakistan to do.  We’re asking you to do this; we’re not demanding anything.  You’re a sovereign country. 
“You’ll decide what you want to do, but understand this is what we think is necessary. And if you don’t want to do that, don’t feel you can do it, we’ll adjust our tactics and our strategies to achieve the same objective a different way.”
A State Department spokesperson, meanwhile, told Pajhwok Afghan News that security remained a challenge in Afghanistan.
As Tillerson said during his recent visit, “We have a lot of hard work, [and] some challenges ahead of us. But the US and our partners in Afghanistan are committed to seeing this through,” the spokesperson said.
Tillerson said the Afghan government had a specific responsibility to create the conditions that invited the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.

“In Afghanistan, there is a role for the Taliban in this government.  Please come and take up your role, but you must come on the condition that you renounce terrorism, you renounce violent extremism, and you will never take up those efforts again…” he concluded. (Pajhwok)