The meeting of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis with the leaders of Pakistan during his visit to Islamabad early this week was to find common ground in fight against terrorism, the Pentagon said on Friday.
“The Secretary had very fruitful conversations about where we can find common ground,” Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White told reporters at her weekly news conference. She said the effort was to broaden the relationship between the two countries.
“As he said, no one has lost more troops and lives to terrorism than the Pakistanis. So again, this is about broadening our relationship and looking for opportunities. I think there are opportunities. I think his trip showed that,” White said.
She was responding to a question on Mattis conversation with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad on Monday. “Terrorism. I mean, the threat of terrorism — I mean everyone has — Pakistan has an interest in ensuring that terrorism is defeated. They’ve lost thousands of troops, and they’ve lost thousands of innocents as well,” White said.
The Pentagon chief spokesperson said it was in the interest of Pakistan and the US to find a lasting solution to the Afghanistan problem. “It is in the interests of Pakistan, the US, the region to ensure that we can encourage that Afghanistan has a political reconciliation. So we’ll look for ways to work with Pakistanis to find that common ground and move forward,” White said.
Mattis had on Monday asked Pakistan to “redouble” efforts to confront militants operating from its soil.