Civil-military leadership was on same page in meetings with Mattis: Khawaja Asif

KARACHI: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said that the civil-military leadership was on the same page in meetings with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
The statement was made during the foreign minister’s appearance on media.
Asked about separate meetings with the US defence secretary, in contrast with earlier meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillersen during his visit to Pakistan, Asif replied: “We had already exchanged notes with each other for the prime minister had other engagements as well. A single script was discussed at the meetings.
“Mattis has been engaged with the Pakistan Army for quite some time and he expressed his resolve for restoration of peace.”
Noting that 125 out of 128 attacks in Pakistan were coordinated from Afghanistan, he said the civil-military leadership stressed on effective border management with Afghanistan and repatriation of Afghan refugees.
The US defence secretary was conveyed that we do not need aid, but understanding, the minister added.
Mattis acknowledged Pakistan’s concerns and said the US wants to maintain a “consistent” relationship with Pakistan, he said.
“To maintain such a relationship, the two sides need to build up trust in each other,” Asif quoted Secretary Mattis as saying at the meetings. “We are aware of the human cost Pakistan has paid in this war on terror.”
He said the US defence secretary was told that Pakistan’s fight against terrorism was greatly hindered by non-provision of F-16 fighter jets by the United States and that such measures limited their capacity [to fight terrorism].
“It was quite a frank exchange overall, in which there was no hostility,” the minister said of the Pakistani leadership’s meetings with the top US official.