ISLAMABAD - Commander of the Bahrain-based United States Central Command (Centcom) General James Mattis is reach to reach Islamabad today (Thursday) on a two-day official visit to Pakistan, American diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

Sources said Mattis would meet Pakistan’s civil and military leadership and discuss matters of mutual interest of the US and Pakistan.

Sources were of the view that the visit was a follow-up to the recent trip of ISI Director General Lt-Gen Zahirul Islam to the US and it would largely focus on the operational matters between the armed forces of the two countries.

However, some diplomatic sources insisted that the Centcom commander’s visit was aimed at securing Pakistan’s support for the US plans to launch a meaningful crackdown on the so-called Haqqani network, which, the US blamed, was allegedly operating from the North Waziristan Agency.

Washington, which has declared the Haqqani network a foreign terrorist outfit, accuses it of targeting the US-led multinational forces in Afghanistan and using Pak-Afghan border as a safe haven. On the other hand, the Pakistan government and military sources say Islamabad is committed to counter-terrorism policy and its security forces are already engaged in fighting the remnants of banned Pakistani outfit Tehreek-e Taliban (TTP).

“The biggest challenge for our security forces is to deal with those TTP elements engaged in launching attacks on Pakistani forces while using the Afghanistan soil,” a source told The Nation, requesting not to be named.

Until and unless both sides agree on a meaningful cooperation, sources ruled out the possibility of any new commitment from Pakistan, saying the US has failed in sealing the border on Afghanistan whenever Pakistan sought cooperation on the issue.

“We remember what happened during military operation in South Waziristan Agency when the US-led forces on the other side of the border vacated key security posts giving freedom of action to many important militants in fleeing to Afghanistan,” sources maintained.

They were of the view that there were key issues both the countries have to resolve before opening up of a new chatter of cooperation on war against terror.