Published On: Mon, Dec 4th, 2017

Pakistan Must do More to Eliminate Safe Havens For Terrorists, Says US Defence Secretary

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pak usaIslamabad: Pakistan must do more to eliminate safe havens for terrorists on its soil, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told Islamabad on Monday. James Mattis arrived in Pakistan to discuss the situation in Afghanistan with Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership. During his official visit, Mattis also persuaded Pakistan government to support the new US strategy that the President Donald Trump administration announced for Afghanistan in August.The development comes after CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the US will do everything it can to ensure that terrorist safe havens no longer exists in Pakistan. Pompeo said that this is the message that Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was tasked to deliver to Pakistan during his meetings with the top Pakistani leaders. Pompeo further said that nothing has changed with regard to Pakistan when it comes to using terrorist as a leverage to deal with Afghanistan and India.
“Mattis will deliver the message that says We would love you to do that. That is that safe haven inside of Pakistan has worked to the detriment of our capacity to do what we needed to do in Afghanistan and in the absence of the Pakistanis achieving that we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that that safe haven no longer exists,” Pompeo said.
Former CIA director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also said that Pakistan has always been a problem. “It’s been a safe haven for terrorists who come across the border and attack in Afghanistan and then go back into Pakistan. We have made every effort possible during the time I was there to convince Pakistan to stop it,” he said. But Pakistan remains unconvinced, he added.
“Pakistan has this kind of two-edged approach to dealing with terrorism. On the one hand yes they don’t like terrorism where the attacks from terrorists in their country. But at the same time, they don’t mind using terrorists as leverage to deal with Afghanistan and to deal with India. That’s the policy that they’ve been involved with,” Panetta said. “So, Pakistan has always been a question mark,” he said.
In August, US President Donald Trump had issued the sternest warning by an American leader to Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists. Trump said another pillar of his new strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia was a change in America’s approach to Pakistan, considered a long-time ally of Washington. “Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror….,” Trump had said.

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