Pakistan pursues zero-tolerance approach against all militants, Asif tells Tillerson

Dhanoa on Wednesday said that if India needed to carry out a surgical strike, IAF aircraft could target Pakistan's nuclear installations and destroy them.

According to a report in Don Balon, the Pakistani FM who is now on a 3-day tour to USA said, Indian government should let go of any idea of a surgical strike on Pakistan as the country will respond strongly this time around.

Speaking after the meeting, Tillerson said he believed the USA had a reliable partner in Pakistan.

Asif expressed the hope that global media, particularly USA media, would play a positive role in Pakistan's efforts towards establishing regional peace and "reflect Pakistan's changing realities in its reporting".

The foreign minister addressed the Indian air chief's remarks at a talk at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on Thursday, urging Indian leaders not to contemplate such actions as those could have dire consequences.

"I will not be extravagant, yesterday's meeting went very well, today's meeting with Gen McMaster in the morning, I would be a bit cautious about it. It was good. It wasn't bad", he said.

"But we still do not know what specific steps the United States will take to convince or compel Pakistan to change its behaviour, or what costs we will impose if Pakistan fails to do so", McCain said.

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Asif said the Pakistan-US bilateral relationship had taken a new turn after the announcement of Washington's South Asia strategy. "We are genuinely concerned with regard to the role accorded in the strategy to India in general and its efforts geared to destabilise Balochistan in particular".

He stressed "Ensuring security in Afghanistan is critical for the region", adding "we will be the biggest beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan".

Later, senior U.S. officials told various media outlets that the United States could stop providing economic and military assistance to Pakistan, degrade its status of a major non-Nato ally and place Pakistani officials with alleged ties to terrorists on a terrorist-watch list.

The meeting signalled a gradual resumption of talks between the two countries that was paused by Pakistan which was upset after Trump's new South Asia and Afghan policy that proposed greater role for India in the war-torn country. "However, this is an ongoing process with continuing intelligence-based operations by law enforcement agencies across the country".

"Pakistan calls for effective elimination of these safe havens in Afghanistan", he said, "large ungoverned territories in Afghanistan under influence of non-state groups pose a security risk to the whole region and above all to Afghanistan itself". He said both countries can continue to work together for the common goal of peace, stability and prosperity in South Asia.

Relations between India and Pakistan have slided sharply in recent times amid unending Army-versus-Army battles on the Jammu and Kashmir frontier.

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