Pakistan rejects U.S. demand for joint operation on its soil

Pakistan rejects U.S. demand for joint operation on its soil

Mattis held separate meetings on Monday with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to explore ways to effectively eliminate the threat of militancy. For several years, Pakistan has banked on aid from the United States but in recent times, it is China that has become closer courtesy financial investments and military assistance.

The US officials, inside sources said, were told that the Trump administration's new policy for Af-Pak region was not acceptable, and if it wanted to improve ties, then it should change its policy.

In Trump's talks with Pakistan's political, military, and intelligence leaders, Mattis said Pakistan had a crucial role to play in promoting peace talks for Afghanistan and "reiterated that Pakistan must redouble its efforts to confront militants and terrorists operating within the country", the Pentagon said in a statement. He urged the U.S. to build relation with Pakistan sans Afghan prism. "Nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan".

During meeting with the USA defence chief, it was decided that the dialogue process between the two countries would continue through diplomatic contacts. "China lives next to us and we have a common wall".

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"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.

Pakistan's Express Tribune also reported that the sources said that the issue of India's role in Afghanistan remained top of the agenda for Pakistan during the visit of Mattis, while the United States asked Pakistan to act against the Haqqani network and other elements targeting the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

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' brief visit to Islamabad comes a week after a hardline Pakistani Islamist group called off nationwide protests after the government met its demand that a minister accused of blasphemy resign.

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