Mattis to repeat 'do more' in Pakistan visit: Ex envoy

Islamabad, Dec 3, IRNA -- A senior Pakistani analyst says that US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in his upcoming visit to Islamabad on Monday would repeat the old mantra of 'do more’ against terrorism.

In an interview with IRNA, former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, Rustam Shah Mohmand added that according to the US, Pakistan is not doing enough to eliminate Haqqani terrorist network from its soil which the latter has strongly rejected.

US Defense Secretary is expected to arrive in Pakistan on Monday. He would meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Mohmand said there are many issues which would be raised between the leaders of the US and Pakistan during Jim Mattis’s visit to Islamabad.

“Issue of Afghanistan would top the agenda, where the US is trying to intensify drones attacks, its aerial strikes and sending more troops,” he pointed out.

The former ambassador was also of the view that the US has adopted a very aggressive stance in Afghanistan and also wants to weaken the Taliban militants forcing them to come to the negotiations table on its terms. 'In that endeavor they seek Pakistan cooperation by intensifying their efforts in tribal areas to eliminate pockets of Taliban particularly the Haqqani network.'

“Of course other regional issues would also come under discussion like growing tension between Pakistan and India and then growing antagonism between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” Mohmand said.

He said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be discussed as the Americans have said publicly that the CPEC passes through a disputed territory which Pakistan doesn’t accept.

Pakistan would tell the US that the Haqqani network is very much inside Afghanistan, all their leaders are there, all fighters are there, they are no longer on Pakistani soil, and the country has carried out successful ways against them and that is why they have fled to Afghanistan, Mohmand said.

He said the relations between Pakistan and the US are not cordial particularly when the Americans objected to the CPEC but they are not at a breaking point. “There are military and economic aspects of this relations which are deep rooted and multi dimensional.'

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