Destroy terror 'safe havens' or else United States will: Central Intelligence Agency tells Pakistan

On his maiden tour to Pakistan as Secretary of Defence, General Mattis was accompanied by senior officials from Department of Defence and the US Ambassador to Pakistan. A Pentagon statement said that during the meetings Mattis discussed Pakistan's role in the peace process and "reiterated that Pakistan must redouble its efforts to confront militants and terrorists operating within the country".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meets with Egypt's Minister of Defense Gen. Sedky Sobhy in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday.

Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Defense Minister Khurram Dastagir and National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua were among those who attended the meeting.

But en route to Pakistan Mattis told reporters he would not use pressure as a tactic and insisted he would do "some listening".

Accounts of the meeting provided by both the US and Pakistan state that the countries intend to work together to confront the conflict in Afghanistan, where the fighting an insurgent Taliban, among other groups.

Bajwa, in a statement, said Mattis expressed concern about militants in Pakistan trying to "further their terrorist agenda" in Afghanistan, and said he is "prepared to look into the possibility of miscreants exploiting Pakistan's hospitality".

The Pakistani foreign ministry last week admitted there was a difference of opinion between the two countries on issues relating to terrorism and security but a series of meetings had been planned to reach a common ground.

Last week, the commander of U.S forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, said Islamabad had not carried out the "clear" demands made by Washington.

"They identified certain steps that they were going to take".

In a stern warning to Pakistan, CIA Director Mike Pompeo has said that if Pakistan does not get its act together and dismantle the terrorist safe havens on its territory, the United States will "do everything" to see that these sanctuaries no longer exist.

Following Mattis' visit, Pakistan's prime minister's office released a statement saying there are no safe heavens in Pakistan and that the nation was committed to eradicating terrorism once and for all.

Imtiaz Gul, an Islamabad security analyst, said US officials always come to Islamabad with their "own wish list".

Mattis's first visit to the country as defense secretary of defense comes as the United States pushes its longtime ally to do more to combat insurgents who allegedly use bases in Pakistan's tribal belt to target North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump's strategy for the 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan takes a regional approach and prioritizes Pakistan's role in sheltering the Taliban and allied Haqqani network.

Mattis' trip aims "to re-affirm the enduring U.S. commitment to partnerships" in the region, according to a press release by the U.S. Department of Defense.

  • Jon Douglas