News Analysis |
The Pentagon has acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan to uproot terrorism from its soil and admitted that Pakistan had lost more lives and troops to terrorism than any other country.
Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White and undersecretary of the defense David L. Norquist, while addressing the media shed light on the recent visit of the secretary of the Defense James Mattis to Pakistan, where he had meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of Army Staff Qamar Jawed Bajwa.
Answering a question from a journalist on what kind of assurances he’s [James Mattis] received from Pakistan and what steps are taken by Pakistan against Haqqani Network? White confirmed that both America and Pakistan could have a common ground because according to James Mattis no one has lost more troops and lives to terrorism than the Pakistanis.
On October 12th, both the countries held a bilateral engagement to discuss the strained relationship and reaffirm the commitment to boost their mutual efforts against terrorism.
In a welcome gesture for Pakistan, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson also recognized that “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”.
Commenting on Pakistan’s efforts to curb terrorism to cooperate with America in the best interest of the world, White said both countries are broadening their relationship and looking for opportunities.
Continuing her explanation of common ground between the two countries, she remarked “it’s in the interests of Pakistan, the U.S., 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”.
The comments of the Pentagon chief spokesperson reflect the positive outcome of the recent talks with US secretary of the Defense James Mattis.
Strained relationship post new Afghan strategy
Post the change in US strategy in Afghanistan, a significant strain on the bilateral relationship had emerged. Both sides traded a barrage of soft tirades. Both countries are trying to rekindle their frosty relationship.
“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”.
In an attempt to present himself as more of a serious and astute politician, Trump put forward his future strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia. In his speech on Afghanistan, Donald Trump scolded Pakistan for allegedly failing to use its position efficiently despite the hefty financial backing of the Pentagon.
Trump accused Pakistan of nurturing safe havens for terrorists and allowing them space to operate successfully, which eventually disrupts the peace process envisioned in Afghanistan. Apparently, the US president delivered precisely what the US media and warmongers in the country wanted.
President Trump also sparked the controversy in Pakistan by envisaging a more significant role for India in Afghanistan. Trump had directly accused Pakistan of playing a duel role in the fight against the insurgents.
Pakistan had responded in a meaningful and confident manner against the Trump aggression.
In a wholehearted attempt to clear its position on the accusation labeled against its sincere efforts against terrorism on its soil. Pakistani officials continued their efforts to engage the US on the matter. Even when the temperatures were soaring between the two countries, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 19th. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif during his visit to the US, also held talks and explained Pakistan’s position with more rigor and a more frank manner simultaneously.
Donald Trump scolded Pakistan for allegedly failing to use its position efficiently despite the hefty financial backing of the Pentagon.
On October 12th, both the countries held a bilateral engagement to discuss the strained relationship and reaffirm the commitment to boost their mutual efforts against terrorism. And, they reviewed the reasons for mistrust and strain in the wake of the new US policy.
In his maiden visit on December 4th, Mattis asked Pakistan to play a meaningful and constructive role in the region by making fruitful efforts to eliminate safe havens within its borders and in reducing Afghanistan’s trust deficit.