Pompeo tells Pak to act against terrorists threatening regional security

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Islamabad, Sep 5 (IANS) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Pakistan on Thursday to take decisive measures against terrorists threatening regional peace.

In his meetings in Islamabad with Pakistani leaders, he “conveyed the need for Pakistan to take sustained and decisive measures against terrorists and militants threatening regional peace and stability,” his spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Pompeo, who is on his way to New Delhi for the 2+2 Strategic Dialogue, stopped over in Islamabad to meet the recently-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa.

He was accompanied by US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.

While congratulating Khan on the formation of his government and “the further strengthening of civilian institutions,” Pompeo in his meeting with Bajwa “welcomed the smooth transition of power to a new civilian government, stressing the importance of strong democratic institutions,” Nauert said.

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With “Qureshi, Secretary Pompeo discussed the potential for the United States and Pakistan to work together to advance joint priorities, including regional peace and stability,” she added.

The statement did not mention anything about two crucial issues clouding US-Pakistan relations: the withholding of US, and Washington’s refusal so far, to back Islamabad’s request for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout for the cash-strapped country.

Giving the Pakistani version of the the meetings, Qureshi said both sides agreed to “reset” their bilateral relations, GeoTV reported.

In a meeting en route to Pakistan with reporters accompanying him, Pompeo had said on Wednesday, “I wanted to get out there at the beginning of his (Khan’s) time in an effort to reset the relationship between the two countries.”

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GeoTV reported that Qureshi told a news conference, “We presented realistic stance to the US authorities.”

“We have given a clear message to the US that we all are on one page and we won’t get anything from the blame game,” he added.

Qureshi acknowledged that there had been friction in US-Pakistan relations during the past year and that no one tried to bridge the differences, according to GeoTV.

Pompeo and US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis are to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday for the 2+2 Strategic Dialogue.

–IANS

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