Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on 'surprise' visit today

Tillerson has said US aid may be cut if Pakistan does not act more proactively against the groups, and Islamabad is jeopardizing Pakistan's future by not pushing out militant groups that range across the border into Afghanistan.

On Monday, Mr. Tillerson held talks with President Ghani at the USA -controlled Bagram Base outside Kabul, while on Tuesday he met the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad.

The relations between Pakistan and the United States have witnessed marked improvement over the past few weeks following a series of recent interactions, including Prime Minister Abbasi and VP Pence's meeting in NY on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in NY.

It follows on the heels of an unannounced stop in Afghanistan Monday, where Tillerson reiterated America's commitment to the country and warned that Washington has made "very specific requests" of Pakistan over militancy.

"Pakistan needs to, I think, take a clear-eyed view of the situation that they're confronted with in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe haven inside of Pakistan", Tillerson said after concluding the talks.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied the charge, insisting it maintains contacts only to try to bring the militants to peace talks.

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On Tuesday, Tillerson told Abbasi that Pakistan was "so important" to regional security as the pair shook hands ahead of the meeting. "We have produced results".

The US-Pakistan relationship has waxed and waned dramatically since Trump took office in January.

Following the August speech, Tillerson cautioned Pakistan that it could lose its status as a privileged military ally if it continued providing support to Afghan militant groups.

India and Afghanistan discussed regional counter-terror efforts and enhancing New Delhi's defence assistance to Kabul during a day-long working visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to India. As the New York Times reports, the red fire alarm and military-style clock indicated the meeting took place not in Kabul but at the U.S. military base in Bagram, more than 30 miles away.

"There are, we believe, moderate voices among the Taliban, voices that do not want to continue to fight forever, they don't want their children to fight forever", said Tillerson.

  • Megan Austin