Pakistan military
Jim Mattis

The United States of America has delivered a strong message to Pakistan asking the nation to get on board with the south Asia peace process.

US defence secretary Jim Mattis said it was time for Pakistan to support the efforts taken by the UN, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan.

“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,” he told reporters at the Pentagon on Monday (3) as he welcomed union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman for talks.

“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.

“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.

Meanwhile, Sitharaman is on a five-day official visit to the US and in her remarks at the start of her bilateral talks with Mattis, Sitharaman said defence partnership between the two countries was 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, adding that the two countries have good military-to-military cooperation and scientific collaboration.

“Over the past three to four years, we have made considerable progress. Our relations, based on common democratic values, enjoy strong political and popular support in both countries. There’s a growing mutual trust and also the confidence in defence partnership, which augurs very well for the future,” Sitharaman said.