This photo from Rex Tillerson's Afghanistan visit has apparently been mysteriously altered

America's top diplomat was quietly greeted by a mid-level Pakistani Foreign Office official and the United States ambassador David Hale at the military airport in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, an AFP photographer saw - a welcome that, while marked with smiles, was devoid of the pomp that usually accompanies high-level visits.

"We are committed in the war against terror", he told Tillerson.

United States officials say they are frustrated that Afghan Taliban and Haqqani militants are afforded freedom of movement and are able to transport weapons and raise funds inside Pakistan, something their Islamabad counterparts staunchly deny.

"We are committed to the war against terrorism...and we look forward to moving ahead with the USA and building, as you said, an economic relationship", the Pakistani prime minister said in response to Tillerson's comments. "And we are looking forward to moving ahead with the U.S. and building a tremendous relationship", Abbasi replied, according to a pool report.

Unsurprisingly, Tillerson set his sights on Pakistan, which the Trump administration has made a key part of its Afghanistan strategy.

On Monday, during a visit to Kabul, Tillerson urged Pakistan to act against safe havens on its soil.

Secretary Tillerson's Afghanistan trip was kept a secret due to security concerns, especially after an attack last month on Kabul airport during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on the Afghan President.

"The perception here is whatever they do, it is not going to please the Americans", Hussain told AFP.

The rescue was followed by drone strikes on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border targeting long-time foes of both Washington and Islamabad.

Tillerson is on a multi-nation tour that included previously unannounced stops Monday in Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and in Afghanistan, where he discussed the new US strategy for South Asia with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other senior officials at Bagram airbase, outside of Kabul.

While both photos showed the two men sitting in a windowless room, the image released by Afghanistan has removed the military-style digital clock and fire alarm above the two men-both of which are pictured in the US copy.

  • Tracy Klein