US Defence Secretary James Mattis will arrive in Pakistan for a maiden visit on Monday (today) to hold talks with the country’s key leaders on the new US strategy for South Asia.
The visit will be part of Mattis’ trip to three other countries this week, which he is undertaking to “re-affirm the enduring US commitment to partnerships in the Middle East, West Africa and South Asia”, a press release issued by the US Department of Defence said.
According to the statement, Mattis will meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during his day-long trip.
Mattis is likely to ask Pakistan to eliminate the Haqqani Network which, the US claims, still has hideouts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and uses them for launching attacks in Afghanistan.
“We’ll discuss the South Asia strategy,” the secretary told, saying that he had already visited India and Afghanistan and it was a continued dialogue that the United States had for the Afghan peace process.
“The US remains committed to a pragmatic relationship that expands cooperation on shared interests,” the US secretary said while reinforcing President Trump’s call for action against alleged safe havens.
Moreover, Pakistan intends to tell the US that it supports resolution of the war in Afghanistan through dialogue and will contribute in the process but Islamabad will not tolerate the use of Afghan soil by any country or group for the purpose of destabilising the country.
Pakistan will also express its reservations over the new pro-Modi policy of the Trump administration.