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There are ways to hold Pak accountable in its fight against

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

As part of its new south strategy, the United States wants to make sure that there are no terrorist safe havens in and Pakistan, the US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said, asserting that there are ways for the US-led member countries to hold accountable for its fight against

The new South strategy comprises of regionalisation, realigning of forces, reinforcing them and to reconciliation, the political goal, he told reporters at the headquarters in Brussels.


"What we want to do is start with -- from to across the region -- is to make certain that everyone's working off the same sheet of music.

"We want to make certain that no terrorist organisation can find a haven anywhere, and, with a border adjoining Afghanistan, that makes a priority," Mattis said.

As such the United States is engaging with the Pakistanis, he added.

"We're engaging a whole-of-effort. We've got international efforts going on. And one of the reasons we brought it up here was to make certain we were all aligned about where we stood on this," the US Defence Secretary said.

Referring to the discussions he had with other member countries, Mattis said, "It was remarkable alignment about us all working together to get to do everything it can to cut the insurgents off, the terrorists off."

When asked what is different with the policy this time, Mattis said there are ways that the US can reward and ways that the international community can ensure they are held to account.

"But our principle, going into this, is that we are going to work with and make this work, so that there's no longer a threat coming across the border there," he said.

This is an international effort and not just an American- alone effort, he added.

"So that in itself, that we're aligned internationally, now, with what we're doing, is probably the biggest change, he said.

At the Defense Ministerial meeting, Mattis said he and his colleagues were "orchestrating" their fight against terror and the next steps from to the Middle East.

Over the two days, I shared with them President Donald Trump's South strategy, which was very well received and firmly supported, he said.

Specifically to Afghanistan, the reconciliation remains the political goal of NATO's military campaign and our comprehensive approach, Mattis said, adding that the Reconciliation must be Afghan-led, with an open door to the Taliban if they choose to stop killing and live by the Afghan constitution.

"This strategy, carried out by, with and through our Afghan partners and within the coalition framework ensures this regional campaign is politically, fiscally and militarily sustainable," he said.

There is no military campaign that does not have a "political goal", he added.

Mattis said the nations and coalition partners are in the process of finalising troop increases and additional support efforts.

"Over two dozen nations have stated that they intend to raise the troop numbers that they have on the ground there now, including some very small nations, for whom this is the largest overseas deployment they have been engaged in.

"We appreciate their commitment to stabilising the South region," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 10 2017. 07:42 IST
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