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U.S. To Give Pakistan Chance to Strike Terrorist Targets: Tillerson  

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(Last Updated On: November 1, 2017)

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has informed the Congress that Pakistan is prepared to focus on terrorists if offered info and Washington plans to present Islamabad the chance to show it.

At a Senate International Relations Committee hearing on Monday evening, American lawmakers also warned that if the United States insisted on having the choice of first strike towards a nuclear-armed nation, it may ship a unsuitable sign to different nations with nuclear weapons. They notably talked about India and Pakistan, two nuclear nations with strained relations.

Although the hearing was on the U.S. president’s authority to go to war, Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, asked Mr Tillerson to share with the committee what he heard from Pakistanis during his visit to Islamabad last week.

“Pakistanis have indicated, if we provide them information they will act. We’re going to have to test that, give them an opportunity to do so,” Secretary Tillerson replied. “So, we are going to enter into an effort to have greater sharing of certain intelligence information.”

Senator Barrasso also referred to US President Donald Trump’s Aug 21 speech who said that “a pillar” of his new strategy for Afghanistan was “to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan”.

The senator reminded Mr Tillerson that while travelling in South Asia last week, he too talked about “setting certain expectations” for the government of Pakistan and also about putting in place “a mechanism of cooperation through information sharing and action” to deny terrorist outfits the ability to launch attacks.

“So, could you talk a little bit about what is the change in the approach to Pakistan and maybe some of the expectations that you’ve articulated for the Pakistani government … in terms of what this cooperation is going to look like?” he asked.

Secretary Tillerson said he could only share “some broad contours” of Islamabad visit in a public hearing and if the senators wanted more, he was willing to sit with them for a closed hearing.

“But the conversation with the Pakistani government is for them to recognise that they will be one of the greatest beneficiaries of a successful peace process in Afghanistan,” he said.

Secretary Tillerson stated he hoped his go to will pave the way in which Pakistan opinions the Afghan state of affairs. “Pakistan will discover it of their pursuits to start to disassociate these long-standing relationships which have developed over time with sure terrorist organisations,” he added.

He claimed that Pakistan did have long-standing relations with the Haqqani community and the Taliban, which could have served their function for stability up to now however they now not served that function.

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Allies have the capabilities to strike from afar against terrorist threats: NATO

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2021)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday allies will discuss Afghanistan during Friday’s defence ministers meeting, which will be “the first opportunity for the ministers to engage in the lessons learnt process” launched by the organization.

NATO defense ministers are meeting Thursday and Friday in Brussels to chart the course for the alliance as it modernizes and adapts to a world dominated by strategic competition.

However, the discussions will also include Afghanistan, Stoltenberg said during a press conference Thursday. According to him “we are in the midst of the lessons learned process, I think it’s a bit early to draw final conclusions.”

He said the decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan had been “a very difficult dilemma” but after extensive rounds of consultations among all allies, “we agreed together to end our military presence in Afghanistan”.

Stoltenberg said the lesson learned process has to focus on both what did not work, but also what worked, and he said “we should recognize that we actually made significant achievements”.

“Our mission was not in vain. We prevented Afghanistan from being a safe haven for international terrorists, and prevented any attack against any NATO ally over 20 years.

“Now we will stay vigilant and preserve those gains. Not least by holding, using the leverage we have on the new Taliban (Islamic Emirate) regime to make sure that they live up to their commitments on terrorism, on human rights, and safe passage.”

“The international community has economic and diplomatic leverage over the Taliban (Islamic Emirate),” he said.

“Looking ahead, we must continue to stand together in the fight against international terrorism,” he said. “And in the margins of this ministerial, we will hold a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh [or the Islamic State group],” he said.

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IEA calls on US to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2021)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) leaders called on the US to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets during a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday night saying that the money is for the Afghan people.

“All countries, with almost one voice, called on the US to end its financial prohibitions on Afghanistan and to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets because this money is for the Afghan people and they were receiving their salaries from it, and therefore the US has no right to freeze these funds,” acting IEA Minister of Information and Culture, Khairullah Khairkhwa, said.

Pakistan, China, Iran, India and former Soviet Central Asian states joined IEA officials at the Moscow meeting. The United States stayed away, citing technical reasons.

Acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi meanwhile said at the meeting that the IEA would create conditions for women to work within the framework of Sharia law.

He also emphasized that the IEA does not represent a threat to any other country.

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UN sets up trust fund for ‘people’s economy’ in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2021)

The United Nations said on Thursday it had set up a special trust fund to provide urgently-needed cash directly to Afghans through a system that would tap into donor funds frozen since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover in August.

Achim Steiner, the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) administrator, said that Germany, a first contributor, had pledged 50 million euros ($58 million) to the fund, and that it was in touch with other donors.

“Discussions over the last few weeks have focused on how we do find a way to be able to mobilise these resources in view of the economic implosion that is now unfolding and the international community’s repeated commitment not to abandon the people of Afghanistan,” he told a news briefing.

This comes after US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Tuesday he sees no situation where the IEA would be allowed access to Afghan central bank reserves, which are largely held in the United States.

The IEA has called for the United States to lift a block on more than $9 billion of Afghan central bank reserves held outside the country as the government struggles to contain a deepening economic crisis.

“We believe that it’s essential that we maintain our sanctions against the Taliban (IEA) but at the same time find ways for legitimate humanitarian assistance to get to the Afghan people. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Adeyemo told the Senate Banking Committee.

Washington and other Western countries are grappling with difficult choices as a severe humanitarian crisis looms large in Afghanistan. They have been trying to work out how to engage with the IEA without granting them legitimacy, while ensuring humanitarian aid flows into the country.

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