US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has threatened Pakistan

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has on Wednesday threatened Pakistan with harsh penalties if it does not step up efforts against the Taliban.

One day after President Donald Trump unveiled a new strategy to force the Taliban to negotiate a political settlement with the Kabul government, his top diplomat upped the heat on Islamabad.

Among the penalties Pakistan could face is the elimination of its status as a major non-NATO ally, and blows to US aid and military assistance.

“All of that can be put on the table,” Tillerson said. “But at the end of the day Pakistan has to decide what is in its best interest from a security standpoint for themselves and for their people.

“If I were the Pakistan government I would have growing concerns about the strength of the Taliban,” he added.

The US secretary of state said that the US is ready to cooperate with Pakistan but Islamabad has to change its policy.

Pakistan will have to eliminate safe heavens of terrorists, he added.

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