Pentagon acknowledges Pakistan's sacrifices in war against terrorism

In an interview he told that Pakistan is playing its role to establish peace in the region

The officials have reportedly offered the support during a meeting with the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis during his visit to Islamabad.

Mattis met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his brief visit to Pakistan this week.

"We have communicated specific steps that Pakistan can take to degrade these groups' operational activities and to facilitate substantive peace talks between the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan", a State Department spokesperson told The News in an email response from Washington.

Earlier, while talking to The News, a State Department spokesperson said that the U.S. had made clear its expectation for decisive action against terrorist and militant groups that operate from Pakistani soil.

Mattis, who held talks with the Pakistani civil and military leadership on Monday, said the objective of his visit was to find common grounds in order to create a positive, consistent and long-term relationship with Pakistan.

His visit to Pakistan comes days after the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was released from house arrest.

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Pakistan denies the charge and accuses Kabul of allowing militants to use its soil for attacking Pakistani security forces and civilians. The Pentagon said it would not resume payments until the defence secretary could certify that Islamabad had taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network and other militants who cross into Afghanistan from alleged sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Mattis told Pakistani officials that the USA was ready to play its role in addressing Pakistan's reservations.

While there may not be any free lunches in this world, Pakistan continues to nearly rever China - a fact underlined by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday when he said the focus of Pakistan's foreign policy must shift away from the U.S. and onto China.

Refusing the concerns of neighbouring countries, he said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a game changer project, which will benefit the entire region.

The remarks triggered a series of high-level diplomatic meetings in the United States and Pakistan, but Islamabad has given few signs of concessions.

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