US Defence Secy May Push Pak To Act On Hafiz Saeed

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Washington: The US would likely deliver a decisive and blunt message to Pakistan to act against terrorism masterminds such as LeT chief Hafiz Saeed operating from its territory when defence secretary James Mattis visits Islamabad on December 3.

The visit comes in the backdrop of the White House announcement on Saturday that inaction against Saeed will adversely impact US-Pakistan relations.

Mattis’ day-long visit to Islamabad amid back-to-back statements from Washington against Saeed is aimed at not only making Pakistan work toward stabilising Afghanistan, but also delivering a tough message to the Islamabad leadership to act against the anti-India terror infrastructure, officials said.

The Donald Trump administration has made India the centrepiece of Washington’s South Asia policy, and the two sides will hold a key dialogue next month on designations for terror groups.

The Trump Presidency, during Prime Minister Narnedra Modi’s visit to the US, designated Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist.

According to experts on Indo-US ties, the current US administration has shown more intent than any other presidency in pressurising Pakistan to act against anti-India terror infrastructure.