Talks between the United States and Pakistan on Islamabad’s role in fomenting terrorism and instability in Afghanistan and the sub-continent have yielded little, with principals on both sides distracted by domestic developments.
Embroiled in a messy controversy at home over his purported rift with the US President and whether he called Trump a moron , US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson engaged his Pakistani counterpart Khwaja Asif with little enthusiasm. Pakistan’s foreign minister, on his part, brought nothing to the table , at least publicly, other than the familiar laundry list of complaints and disclaimers, despite warnings from the Trump administration that it was running out of time before Washington initiating punitive action.
The little that Tillerson said – ahead of his talks with Asif – was not entirely flattering to Pakistan. It revealed the Trump administration’s disquiet over the state of affairs in Pakistan, including its continued subversive role in the region, its confrontation with India, and reports of a growing rift between the military and the civilian leadership inside the country.