Islamabad: US Defence Secretary James Mattis arrived in Pakistan on Monday for his first visit to the country since taking charge at the Pentagon.
Mattis was received by officials from the Defence Ministry, Foreign Ministry and the US Embassy upon his arrival, a Foreign Office statement said. During his visit, Mattis is expected to hold meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Army Chief Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa.
A day earlier, Mattis had told reporters that during his time in Islamabad he would look for “common ground” between America and Washington. Mattis had also said that his discussions with the leadership in Islamabad will also focus on US President Donald Trump’s South Asia policy which was announced in September.
The strategy seeks Pakistan’s support to defeat the Taliban as Washington believes that only a defeat will force them to reconcile with the Afghan government. Soon after the announcement, Pakistan had expressed its reservations about some of the policy decisions made in the strategy and totally rejected the misperception of not taking action against all terrorist groups. “The US remains committed to a pragmatic relationship that expands cooperation on shared interests,” the US secretary had said on Sunday while reinforcing President Trump’s call for action against alleged safe havens.