WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Pakistan was among the key countries where the United States has constructed state-of-the-art tactical security operations centres.

In a 21-page exit memo, the outgoing top US diplomat also named Afghanistan and Iraq among the countries where the Obama administration has built such centres. The document does not say where these centres were built or who operated them and how.

The memo only says that “we have constructed state-of-the-art tactical security operations centres in key countries, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.”

The Obama administration completes its second and final term on Jan 20, when President Barack Obama will hand over power to President-elect Donald Trump.

Secretary Kerry noted in the memo that Afghanistan and Pakistan were Al Qaeda strongholds when the Obama administration took charge but in the last eight years, the group’s core leadership in these two countries had ‘decimated’ and its chief, Osama bin Laden, eliminated.

“Afghanistan is far from perfect, and it will take sustained engagement and effort in the years ahead to protect the progress we’ve made,” he warned. “We must continue to support the Afghan people as they work to build a secure and peaceful future in the months and years ahead.”

The exit memo, which sums up the Obama administration’s foreign policy achievements, also includes tips for the incoming Trump administration such as keep the nuclear accord with Iran, continue efforts for a two-state solution in the Middle East and remain engaged in the fight against the militant Islamic State group.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2017