United States defense secretary meets Pakistan's prime minister

Pakistani soldiers walk at the premises of an Agriculture Training Institute after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar on Dec. 1 2017

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"Islamabad would only guarantee no attacks from its soil if the USA special forces erect a fence along Pakistan-Afghan borders and also repatriate all the Afghan migrants", reported Khaama Press, citing Pakistani official, as saying, to the local media.

Visiting Islamabad about a week after the White House asked Pakistan to immediately arrest and charge 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Saeed, in the absence of which it warned of repercussions, Mattis said he needs to talk to leaders in the country and gain their understanding.

The Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated Islamabad's opposition to India's role in Afghanistan, claiming that Pakistan is concerned regarding the threats emanating from Indian use of Afghan soil.

Stressing on a need to develop correct ties, Ais said "We have to convert our diplomatic outpost to trade outpost", adding that the USA has been one of the major trade partners of Pakistan, Dawn News reported. The fact that three separate press statements were issued after the meetings speaks volumes about disagreements among the parties, said a source. "He assured that USA is ready to play its role in addressing Pakistan's legitimate concerns, saying that his aim is not to make demands but find common grounds to work together".

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It's not clear if that release and subsequent reports by Al-Monitor and other news outlets prompted the long-planned revision. The Pentagon has said in recent days that the troops are staying in Syria, with no timetable for ending the deployment.

The visit, Mattis's first as defence secretary, came days after the United States voiced concerns following a Pakistani court's decision to free one of the alleged masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and as the USA 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.

He said there is common ground between Afghanistan and Pakistan because there are terrorist groups that try to move back and forth, that do move back and forth in order to live in one country and attack the other.

Mattis is the first top American official to visit Pakistan after the completion of the first 100 days of the US' new South Asia strategy unveiled by Trump on August 21.

Abbasi, for his part, underlined the need for a broad based engagement to strengthen partnership and enhance cooperation between the two countries, adding that no other country benefits more from peace and stability in Afghanistan than Pakistan.

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