Mattis seeks more cooperation with Pakistan on terror fight

The US secretary of defence will meet PM Abbasi and COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa during the visit

The US secretary of defence will meet PM Abbasi and COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa during the visit

Early this week, Gen John Nicholson, the commander of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan, rued that Pakistan has not been able to carry out the counterterrorism actions which it promised to the Trump administration after the announcement of the new South Asia Strategy.

US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis is scheduled to land in Pakistan on a day-long visit on Monday and is expected to discuss Washington's latest strategy for South Asia.

During the tour, Mattis will visit Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Kuwait to re-affirm the enduring US' commitment to partnerships in the Middle East, West Africa and South Asia, the Pentagon said.

According to United States defense department Pentagon, Secretary of Defense will hold meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. "I believe that we work hard on finding the common ground and then we work together".

In his response, Mattis said, "That's not the way I deal with issues. We've not yet seen those steps play out", Nicholson told reporters in a recent briefing. "We're hoping to work together with the Pakistanis going forward to eliminate terrorists who are crossing" between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, was released on November 24 after a Pakistan judicial body ordered his release from house arrest, rejecting a request from the government of Punjab to extend his detention by three months.

In August, the US said it would hold up $255 million in military assistance for Pakistan until it cracks down on extremists threatening Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had wiped out militant hideouts with little help from the U.S.

He will begin his engagements with a visit to Egypt on December 2 and then travel to Jordan on December 3.

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