What US Defence Secretary tells about role of Pakistan India in Afghanistan?

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What US Defence Secretary tells about role of Pakistan India in Afghanistan?

WASHINGTON - *The United States’ strategy for South Asia has been drawn up based on the idea of cooperation, not confrontation and that interests of the regional countries have been considered, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Saturday. *

Mattis made the remarks at the plenary session of the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier defence summit, in Singapore in response to a question asked by a journalist from Pakistan.

“We have put together several strategies and one common theme in our Indo-Pacific strategy and certainly in what we called South Asia strategy, which was the one within which we contribute to the NATO-led campaign in Afghanistan -- a theme that these are not strategies. These are not confrontational strategies. They are based on the idea of cooperation,” said Mattis.

Mattis said when the US was working on the South Asia strategy, it did not only look at Afghanistan, but also considered Pakistan and India’s legitimate interests and their role in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the region.

“We regionalized our strategy in South Asia, so we were not looking at Afghanistan in isolation. And obviously when you look at South Asia, then Pakistan and India were two of the nations we had to consider: their legitimate security interest; their potential role in restoring peace in an area where a war has gone on too long already,” Mattis added.