Destroy terror 'safe havens' or else U.S. will: Central Intelligence Agency tells Pakistan

COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa chaired the corps commanders conference on Tuesday at GHQ

Mattis met prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his brief stopover in the capital Islamabad.

"We're committed (to) the war against terror", he said.

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 USA and onto China. "We want peace in Afghanistan".

A day before the Mattis arrived in Islamabad, Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo had warned Pakistan that if it does not eliminate the alleged safe havens inside its territory, the USA would do "everything we can" to destroy them.

The US officials, inside sources said, were told that the Trump administration's new policy for Af-Pak region was not acceptable, and if it wanted to improve ties, then it should change its policy. "But Pakistan, as Mike knows, has this kind of two-wedge approach to dealing with terrorism", he added.

The following month, US President Donald Trump threatened further cuts to assistance to Pakistan over allegations that the government harboured Taliban and other militant groups operating in Afghanistan.

Talking about Pakistan's present state of relations with the USA, he said "the U.S. needs to see our position through the prism of bilateral relations and not through the prism of Afghanistan".

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

On Indian claims that Pakistan was "obsessed" with it, Asif said, "It is not an obsession". "We have eliminated safe havens from Pakistan's soil but are prepared to look into the possibility of miscreants exploiting Pakistan's hospitality to the Afghan Refugees to the detriment of our Afghan brothers", it said.

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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