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

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif

A day before the Mattis arrived in Islamabad, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo had warned Pakistan that if it does not eliminate the alleged safe havens inside its territory, the U.S. would do "everything we can" to destroy them.

Mattis met prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his brief stopover in the capital Islamabad. "Nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan".

"We're committed (to) the war against terror", he said.

The office said in a statement that Mattis emphasized that in view of his long association with Pakistan, he was "keenly aware of the sacrifices rendered and the lives lost in Pakistan's fight against terrorism and extremism; and his personal respect and appreciation for the professional abilities of Pakistan's armed forces".

His visit to Pakistan comes days after the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest.

During meeting with the United States defence chief, it was decided that the dialogue process between the two countries would continue through diplomatic contacts.

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

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. Bajwa appreciated Mattis' understanding of the underlying issues and said that Pakistan does not require anything from the USA but understanding, the statement said.

When asked about United States 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.

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".

Mattis, who held talks with the Pakistani civil and military leadership on Monday, said the objective of his visit was to find common grounds in order to create a positive, consistent and long term relationship with Pakistan.

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