US ready to address Pakistan's legitimate concerns, Mattis assures Gen Qamar

Pakistan has done much more than its due share for peace despite capacity constraints, COAS tells US defence secretary

News Desk December 04, 2017
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis calls on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on December 4, 2017. PHOTO: ISPR

Despite the Trump administration’s continuous demand to ‘do more’, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that the United States is “ready to play its role in addressing Pakistan’s legitimate concerns”.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pentagon chief remarked during his meeting with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday.

Mattis, who visited Pakistan for the first time as defence secretary, said his “aim is not to make demands but find common grounds to work together”.

“Pakistan has done much more than its due share despite capacity constraints but shall remain committed for peace as a responsible member of international community,” the chief of army staff (COAS) was quoted by the military’s media wing as saying.

Mattis expressed his respect for Pakistan armed forces and the effective operations undertaken against terrorists.

He highlighted concern that a few elements continue to use Pakistan's territory to further their terrorist agenda in Afghanistan.

The meeting was also focused on regional security with particular emphasis on Afghanistan as well as other matters of mutual interest.

Gen Qamar acknowledged history of US engagements with Pakistan especially the ongoing efforts for continuing the positivity for peace in the region.

US defence chief urges Pakistan to ‘redouble’ efforts against militants

In his discussion with Mattis, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the two allies shared objectives, a statement issued by the Pentagon said.

“We’re committed [to] the war against terror,” PM Abbasi said, adding, “Nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan.”

In August, US President Trump had outlined a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, chastising Pakistan over its alleged support for Afghan militants. But beyond that, the Trump administration has done little to articulate its strategy.


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