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07 December 2017, 02:31 | Darnell Patrick
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif
The meeting comes a day after the United States Defence Secretary and former general James Mattis, in his maiden visit to Pakistan, told the country's civil and military leadership that Islamabad needed to do more to combat militant networks allegedly operating on its soil. For several years, Pakistan has banked on aid from the U.S. but in recent times, it is China that has become closer courtesy financial investments and military assistance.
This was concluded at the 206th Corps Commanders ' Conference held in Rawalpindi with army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the chair. "We want peace in Afghanistan".
Sources claimed that the meeting was held in a cordial environment and the U.S. side also acknowledged Pakistan's concerns regarding the Indian military presence in Afghanistan and even hinted at playing some role in the resolution of disputes between the two South Asian nuclear states, including the core issue of Kashmir. "It has been a safe haven for terrorists who cross the border and attack in Afghanistan and go back into Pakistan", he said. "We are not ready to be blamed for the failure of the USA in Afghanistan anymore", the official said.
Pakistan has consistently rejected claims it supports Taliban-allied forces, insisting it maintains contacts with insurgents only as a means to bring them to the table for peace talks.
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A statement released later on Monday from Abbasi's office echoed the term "common ground", and said Mattis had emphasised he was "keenly aware" of the thousands of lives Pakistan has lost in its long battle with militancy.
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 U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.
In a speech in August presenting his war strategy for Afghanistan, Trump accused Pakistan of hosting "agents of chaos" and said that its approach would have to change "immediately".
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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