Friday, 15 December, 2017

United States defense secretary meets Pakistan's prime minister

Pakistani soldiers walk at the premises of an Agriculture Training Institute after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar on Dec. 1 2017 Hope from debris: Why Pakistan wants to replace ally US with China, Russia
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2017, 09:47

Last month U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Pakistan amid escalating diplomatic tensions between Washington and Islamabad following U.S. President Donald Trump's new policy for Afghanistan, which promises a broader role for India in the region, and accuses Pakistan of hosting terrorist safe havens. We are still suffering very badly from the Afghan war. "Nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan".

However, Pakistan signaled its willingness to crack down on all militant outfits based on actionable intelligence from the US.

"Gen Mattis expressed his respect for Pakistan Armed Forces and the effective operations undertaken against terrorists", the statement said, adding that "He highlighted concern that a few elements continue to use Pakistan's territory to further their terrorist agenda in Afghanistan".

They chose to continue efforts for Afghan peace.

Pakistani officials have pushed back on the U.S. accusations and say they have done a great deal to help the United States in tracking down militants.

"Islamabad would only guarantee no attacks from its soil if the USA special forces erect a fence along Pakistan-Afghan borders and also repatriate all the Afghan migrants", reported Khaama Press, citing Pakistani official, as saying, to the local media.

When asked if he would "prod" Islamabad to take more action, he replied: "That's not the way I deal with issues".

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During the talks, Pakistan put forward two solid demands in order to stop cross border terrorism.

He said there is common ground between Afghanistan and Pakistan because there are terrorist groups that try to move back and forth, that do move back and forth in order to live in one country and attack the other.

"In the absence of the Pakistanis achieving that, we're going to do everything we can to make sure that safe haven no longer exists", said Pompeo.

Mattis is the first top U.S. official to visit Pakistan after the completion of the first 100 days of the new South Asia Strategy that was announced by President Donald Trump on August 21.

The remarks triggered a series of high-level diplomatic meetings in the U.S. and Pakistan, but Islamabad has given few signs of concessions.

Mattis is also expected to meet Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

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