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US needs Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan: Pompeo

US needs Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan: Pompeo

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Sep 05, 2018 - 09:17

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to Pakistaninfo-icon to meet the new government headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He would meet the new government leaders to “reset the relationship” so that Islamabad could take much-needed strong action against all terrorist networks, the secretary said.

“I wanted to get out there at the beginning of his time in an effort to reset the relationship between the two countries,” Pompeo told reporters travelling with him to Pakistan.

“We have worked closely with the Pakistanis in my role as CIA director. Our teams have been working together for a long time.

“There are lots of challenges between our two nations for sure, but we’re hopeful that with new leadership that we can find common ground and begin to work on some of our shared problems together. They have expressed good-faith intention to do so,” he said.

Accompanied by Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pompeo would meet Imran Khan, the Pakistan army chief and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.         

“We will have three opportunities to walk through the complexity, that is this relationship, and hopefully begin to make some progress so that we can get back to a set of common understandings...” 

He defended the decision of the Trump administration to cut all financial assistance to Pakistan because of the latter’s lack of progress in the fight against terrorism.

“The rationale for them not getting the money is very clear. It’s that we haven’t seen the progress that we need to see from them. And the very reason for this trip is to try and articulate what our expectation is, the things that they can do, the things that they expect us to do, and see if we can’t find a path forward together,” he added.

The financial aid could be restored if there was progress in fight against terrorism, the secretary suggested. “There are real expectations. We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistaninfo-icon.”

Pompeo acknowledged Pakistan had important security interests in Afghanistan to make sure they got the issues at their border right and the US needed their help.

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