Sunday, 21 October, 2018

US Assured Pakistan Of 'No Indian Military Role In Afghanistan'

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2017, 09:48

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has urged Pakistan to double its efforts to confront terrorists operating within the country.

He disagreed with a journalist who suggested that Mattis might end up "butting heads" with Prime Minister Abbasi and Army Chief Bajwa when he meets them in Islamabad on his first visit as the Pentagon chief, the paper said.

In his discussion with Mattis, Abbasi said the two allies shared objectives. We are still suffering very badly from the Afghan war.

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

However, Pakistan signaled its willingness to crack down on all militant outfits based on actionable intelligence from the US. Pakistan had expressed strong reservations about the strategy which called for an increased role of India in Afghanistan.

They made a decision to continue efforts for Afghan peace.

Last week, the commander of United States forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said Islamabad had not carried out the "clear" demands that had been made by Washington. However sources said the Pakistani leadership ruled out the possibility of the same.

Authorities told the visiting delegation that Pakistan will continue conducting operations against terrorists, which is in its national interest.

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

"But at the same time, as the General (Bajwa) has said, he wants no havens for terrorists anywhere, so we will work together and we'll find that common ground, if we have the will to".

Earlier, while talking to The News, a State Department spokesperson said that the USA had made clear its expectation for decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that operate from Pakistani soil.

"If the U.S. could take these two steps, Pakistan would guarantee that its soil would never be used for any militant activities across the Afghan border", a source privy to the details of the meeting said.

"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.