'Common ground' theme in testy US-Pakistan ties

'Common ground' theme in testy US-Pakistan ties

In his separate meetings with Pakistan's civil and military leadership on Monday, the visiting US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, called for US-Pakistan join operations against the militants of Haqqani Network inside the tribal areas.

Abbasi said both Pakistan and the USA were working to establish peace in Afghanistan.

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.

The meeting was focused on regional security with particular emphasis on Afghanistan as well as other matters of mutual interest, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

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. "The first thing I'm going to do is do some listening, like I always do".


"The COAS took the forum on board about his military diplomacy through his recent visits overseas and interaction with foreign dignitaries visiting Pakistan", according to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Mattis is the first top United States 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. "China lives next to us and we have a common wall".

Mattis recognised Pakistan's sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

During the talks, Pakistan put forward two solid demands in order to stop cross border terrorism. "We cannot only imagine it, it's a reality right now", Mattis said.

"I mean, can you imagine a border between Pakistan and India where economic trade is not ongoing to the benefit of people on both sides of that border". Bajwa appreciated Mattis' understanding of the underlying issues and said that Pakistan does not require anything from the USA but understanding, the statement said.

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