US is not concerned if Pakistan close Nato supply route, James Mattis

NEW YORK: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said US would not be worried about Islamabad retaliating against Washington over its suspension of as much as $2 billion in military aid this week.

Talking to reporters, he said he was no concerned, when asked that the U.S. move might push Pakistan closer to China or prompt it to cut off the principal supply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which runs through Pakistan.

Even before this week’s suspension of military aid, Pakistan was developing closer ties with China, which has sold Islamabad military hardware and is financing major infrastructure projects in the country as part of Beijing’s “Silk Road” initiative.

According to media reports, Mattis dismissed those concerns, saying he got no indication from Pakistan that it might cut off the supply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan when he visited Pakistan last month.

“We’re still working with Pakistan, and we would restore the aid if we see decisive movements against the terrorists, who are as much a threat against Pakistan as they are to us,” the reports said.

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