USA defense chief calls for deepening anti-terror cooperation with Pakistan

In an interview he told that Pakistan is playing its role to establish peace in the region

Mattis met prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his brief stopover in the capital Islamabad.

US DEFENCE secretary James Mattis visited Pakistan on Monday (4) but vowed to tread lightly and find "common ground" as Washington pressures its wayward ally to eliminate militant safe havens.

Citing the United States war in Afghanistan has taken a big toll on Pakistan, Asif said stability in the region is key to prosperity.

En route to Pakistan Mattis told reporters he would not use pressure as a tactic, and insisted he would do "some listening".

Pakistan had brokered a landmark round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government, and the Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015, but the process broke down after the Taliban announced the death of their long-term leader, Mullah Omer, triggering a bitter power struggle within the militant group. The fact that three separate press statements were issued after the meetings speaks volumes about disagreements among the parties, said a source.

Stressing on a need to develop correct ties, Ais said "We have to convert our diplomatic outpost to trade outpost", adding that the USA has been one of the major trade partners of Pakistan, Dawn News reported.


Mattis told Pakistani officials that the United States was ready to play its role in addressing Pakistan's reservations.

When asked about USA efforts to push Pakistan to clear safe havens, Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo suggested Washington was prepared to move if its ally failed to act.

The military's top brass in the meeting paid special attention to the impacts of the situation in Afghanistan on Pakistan as well as the region.

President Donald Trump first signalled that the USA was reassessing its fractious relations with Pakistan in August when he accused Islamabad of harbouring "agents of chaos".

The spokesperson said that Mattis discussed Pakistan's role in the peace process in Afghanistan and reiterated that Pakistan must redouble its efforts to confront militants and terrorists.

Pakistan had expressed strong reservations about the strategy which called for an increased role of India in Afghanistan.

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