New Delhi :
The United States (US) has once again sent a strong message to Pakistan asking the country to support the United Nations (UN), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all those who are trying to maintain peace in South Asia. Speaking to reporters on Monday, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that Islamabad must take a “substantive role” in peace talks with the Taliban to end the war in neighbouring Afghanistan.
“It’s time for everyone to get on board, support the United Nations; support Prime Minister Modi’s, (Afghan) President (Ashraf) Ghani and all those who are trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here,” Mattis said as he welcomed Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in US.
In response to a question about President Donald Trump’s letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking his support in the peace process in Afghanistan, Mattis said, “We’re looking for every responsible nation to support peace in the sub-continent and across this war in Afghanistan that’s gone on now for 40 years.”
The remarks from the US Defence Secretary came amid Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden US visit. During a meeting with his Indian counterpart, Mattis has said that Trump administration sees no contradiction between strategic autonomy and strategic partnership.
"The United States and India, in Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi's work, have overcome hesitations of history, carrying forward the legacy of friendship and making clear there is no contradiction between strategic autonomy and strategic partnership," Mattis said.
"We are on that track. It is diplomatically led as it should be, and we'll do our best to protect the Afghan people," he added.
During the meeting with her American counterpart, Sitharaman said that the mutual trust and confidence in defence partnership between India and the US were growing. A strong foundation has been laid for the India-US defence relationship over the years. India sees the US as an important partner in defence,” Sitharaman said, praising the responsiveness of the Trump Administration to India’s sensitivities.