Mattis seeks more cooperation with Pakistan on terror fight

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis calls on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi

US defence secy hails Pakistan armed forces' operations against terrorists

A Pentagon statement said that during the meetings Mattis discussed Pakistan's role in the peace process and "reiterated that Pakistan must redouble its efforts to confront militants and terrorists operating within the country".

He said the U.S. defence secretary was told that Pakistan's fight against terrorism was greatly hindered by non-provision of F-16 fighter jets by the United States and that such measures limited their capacity [to fight terrorism].

General Mattis stated that the goal of his visit was to find common grounds in order to create a positive, consistent and long term relationship with Pakistan.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pressed top Pakistani leaders Monday to "redouble" efforts to go after insurgents operating in safe havens, the Pentagon said, underscoring a long frustration with Islamabad over Taliban-linked militants that freely cross the border to conduct attacks against the US and allies in Afghanistan.

Accounts of the meeting provided by both the USA and Pakistan state that the countries intend to work together to confront the conflict in Afghanistan, where the fighting an insurgent Taliban, among other groups.

Pakistan denies the charge and accuses Kabul of allowing militants to use its soil for attacking Pakistani security forces and civilians.

Saeed heads the UN-listed terrorist group Jamaat-ud-Dawa and has a $10 million United States bounty on his head.

The encounter was also attended by Pakistani Minister of Defense Khurram Dastgir; of Foreign Affairs, Khawaja Asif, and of the Interior Ahsan Iqbal, as well as the National Security Advisor, Nasser Khan Janjua, and the Director General of the Intelligence Service, Naveed Mukhtar.

Noting that 125 out of 128 attacks in Pakistan were coordinated from Afghanistan, he said the civil-military leadership stressed on effective border management with Afghanistan and repatriation of Afghan refugees.

Mattis had also said that his discussions with the leadership in Islamabad will also focus on US President Donald Trump's South Asia policy which was announced in September. He said he would like to see Pakistan's denouncement of terrorism reflected in policy. "And that the safe haven inside of Pakistan has worked to the detriment of our capacity to do what we needed to do in Afghanistan", the Dawn quoted Pompeo as saying.

The top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, said last week that Pakistan had yet to take significant actions against the groups and that senior Taliban leadership resides in Pakistan.

Jim Mattis in Islamabad on Monday.

"We have not seen those changes implemented yet", he told reporters.

Mattis' trip aims "to re-affirm the enduring U.S. commitment to partnerships" in the region, according to a press release by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The CIA director sent a harsh message when asked at the Reagan National Defence Forum in Simi, California, on Saturday how would the Trump administration persuade Pakistan to adhere to its new Afghan strategy.

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