After threats and warnings, US seeks Pakistan assistance for victory in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defence, in a press briefing, said the US will look for common ground with Pakistan and move towards a political reconciliation in Afghanistan.
The statement from the US DoD comes days after a one-day visit by Secretary of Defence James Mattis to Pakistan where he said that the US wants to take its longstanding ties forward with Pakistan.
“It’s in the interests of Pakistan, the US, the region to ensure that we can encourage that Afghanistan has a political reconciliation. So we’ll look for ways to work with Pakistanis to find that common ground and move forward,” said Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White.
White also acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices in the war on terror and said, “no one has lost more troops and lives to terrorism than the Pakistanis. So again, this is about broadening our relationship and looking for opportunities”.
“They’ve lost thousands of troops, and they’ve lost thousands of innocents as well.” Elaborating on Mattis’ visit to the country, the Pentagon spokesman said that the defence secretary had “very fruitful conversations” regarding where a common ground can be found.
White further said that Mattis’ trip showed that there are opportunities and “it’s a conversation that’s about common ground”. Mattis had said a common way needs to be found for continuous ties with Pakistan after his meeting with Pakistan’s leadership.
He had also assured the army chief that the US is ready to play its role in addressing Pakistan’s legitimate concerns, saying he wanted to find common ground rather than make demands.
However, the Secretary Mattis expressed concern that some elements continue to use Pakistani territory to further their terrorist agenda in Afghanistan.
In a statement released by the US Embassy, Mattis had said Pakistan and US can jointly play an important role in the Afghan peace process. “Pakistan and the United States, together, can play an important role to establish peace in Afghanistan,” Mattis said according to a press note issued by the US embassy.
The US Secretary of defence further said that Pakistan should double its efforts against the war on terrorism.