Mattis receives warmer welcome than Tillerson

December 05, 2017

ISLAMABAD - The US Secretary of Defence General James Mattis received a warmer welcome than Secretary of State Tex Tillerson when he visited Pakistan on Monday for a brief visit.

Tillerson visited Pakistan in October with strong messages to act against terrorists’ “hideouts” amid the war of words between the two countries. He was received by mid-level Pakistani Foreign Office official and US Ambassador David Hale at the airport. The media termed the welcome “frosty” as were the talks between the two sides with the US pressing Pakistan to “do more”.

Mattis came with equally tough questions but was received by “senior foreign office and military officials”. The officials were not identified but sources said a major general and a director general-level official welcomed the US defence secretary.

In Pakistan, Tillerson had met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and other top officials.  Mattis also met the same top leaders. An official statement said Prime Minister Abbasi received James Mattis at the Prime Minister’s House.

On his maiden tour to Pakistan as Secretary of Defence, General Mattis was accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Defence and the US ambassador to Pakistan. The prime minister was assisted by ministers of defence, foreign affairs and interior as well as senior officials from the respective ministries during the subsequent talks. During the talks, Mattis kept smiling unlike Tillerson who remained in a very serious mood.

Meanwhile, a foreign office statement on Monday said the “unanimous passing of a Pakistan-sponsored resolution by the committee of the UN General Assembly recently over the right to  self-determination for peoples who are subject to foreign occupation, is testimony to the fact that on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, India stands isolated.”

It added: “This resolution is adopted every year for the past four decades and hence signifies yet again that despite India’s abominable record of heinous human rights atrocities against the innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir and its desperate attempts to obfuscate facts by trying to pass off its own crimes against humanity as counter-terrorism efforts, India’s effort at convincing the international community of its version of events has spectacularly failed.”

The statement said: “The only way for India to end its international isolation on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is to implement the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council that call for a free and fair election under the auspices of the United Nations and allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to choose their own destiny.”