US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday said he does not enjoy dealing with Pakistan as America’s relationship with the South Asian country has “drifted over the years”, noting that the two countries need to restore the ties to “one of common interest.”

“Dealing with Pakistan — I don’t enjoy that,” Mr. Tillerson said in response to a specific query during a town hall with the State Department employees here.

His remark, without any further explanation, was in response to a question posed by a State Department employee who asked: “Is it fair to ask and say do you enjoy your job as Secretary of State?”

“…Pakistan is still an important and valued partner of the United States. Over the last decade, the relationship has drifted, and we’ve got to bring this relationship back to one of common interest,” Mr. Tillerson said.

Today that’s just not the case, he told his State Department colleagues.

“So we’re engaged in very frank discussions with Pakistan over the concerns we have about their own stability and their future, and the threat they’re under by allowing terrorist organisations to operate in their territory,” Mr. Tillerson said.

The top US diplomat said the two countries should find ways as to how they could work together to bring stability and peace to the whole region.

“We’ve got a great team working in that region as well. A lot of work left to do,” Mr. Tillerson said.

Earlier in his remarks, Tillerson referred to the new South Asia Policy as one of the key foreign policy highlights in the first year of the Trump administration.

Mr. Tillerson said that President Donald Trump took a very bold decision by asserting that the US will be in Afghanistan with its military presence and continue to fight terrorism and the Taliban on a conditions-based effort.

He, however, refused to give any time limit for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.


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