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'Common ground' theme in testy US-Pakistan ties

'Common ground' theme in testy US-Pakistan ties

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has urged Pakistan to double its efforts to confront terrorists operating within the country. We are still suffering very badly from the Afghan war.

Responding to a longtime US demand for action against the powerful Haqqani network in the country, Abbasi reiterated that there are no safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan, the statement said.

"He said that Pakistan has done much more than its due share despite capacity constraints but shall remain committed for peace as a responsible member of worldwide community", a statement by the military wing of the Pakistani military said.

The visit, Mattis's first as defence secretary, came days after the United States voiced concerns following a Pakistani court's decision to free one of the alleged masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and as the USA pushes its longtime ally to do more to combat insurgents who allegedly use bases in Pakistan's tribal belt to target North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan.

Last week, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said Islamabad had not carried out the "clear" demands that had been made by Washington.

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Pakistan had brokered a landmark round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government, and the Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015, but the process broke down after the Taliban announced the death of their long-term leader, Mullah Omer, triggering a bitter power struggle within the militant group.

Earlier, while talking to The News, a State Department spokesperson said that the USA had made clear its expectation for decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that operate from Pakistani soil.

Authorities told the visiting delegation that Pakistan will continue conducting operations against terrorists, which is in its national interest. Ahead of his visit to Islamabad, Mattis said he wants to work with Pakistan, listening to one another without being combative with one another, listening to others perspective, to address the problems.

Mattis is the first top American official to visit Pakistan after the completion of the first 100 days of the US' new South Asia strategy unveiled by Trump on August 21.


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