Pak army chief chairs high-level meet over regional security


Top military leadership met on Tuesday to discuss internal and regional security developments in a Corps Commanders Conference in Rawalpindi, chaired by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In his discussion with Mattis, Abbasi said the two allies shared objectives. We are still suffering very badly from the Afghan war. "We want peace in Afghanistan".

Mattis also met high-ranking officials from Pakistan's powerful military, including Lieutenant-General Naveed Mukhtar, the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency that U.S. officials say has links with Haqqani and Taliban militants.

The statement by CIA Director Mike Pompeo came ahead of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis's visit to Islamabad where he will persuade Pakistan to support the new US strategy on Afghanistan.

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A USA defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mattis's conversations had been "straightforward" and specific.

They chose to continue efforts for Afghan peace.

He said that the USA had assured Pakistan that there will be no military intervention by India in Afghanistan.

In July, James Mattis suspended payments to Pakistan from the Coalition Support Fund, which the United States uses to reimburse countries for counter-terrorism operations.

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When asked if he would "prod" Islamabad to take more action, he replied: "That's not the way I deal with issues".

"If the USA could take these two steps, Pakistan would guarantee that its soil would never be used for any militant activities across the Afghan border", a source privy to the details of the meeting said. "China lives next to us and we have a common wall".

But Mattis's comments were in contrast to more strident language from the Central Intelligence Agency chief at a security forum last weekend.

He explained how the Trump administration would deal with the situation if Pakistan turned down Washington's request to destroy safe havens. However sources said the Pakistani leadership ruled out the possibility of the same.

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Pakistan's Express Tribune also reported that the sources said that the issue of India's role in Afghanistan remained top of the agenda for Pakistan during the visit of Mattis, while the United States asked Pakistan to act against the Haqqani network and other elements targeting the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan. His fierce criticism sparked anti-US protests in Islamabad.