Pakistan can gain economic benefits from India if it finds a way to shut safe havens for terror on its soil and carry out its international responsibilities, United States Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Tuesday, according to PTI.

Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the administration was being clear and firm about what it expected from Pakistan. Mattis’ statement comes weeks after US President Donald Trump announced his South Asia policy, in which he took a tough stand against Pakistan. “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organisations,” he had said in August.

When asked why Pakistan would take action against terrorist safe havens this time, Mattis said, “There are a number of lines of effort being put together now in the secretary of treasury’s office, secretary of state’s office, my own office, the intelligence agencies.”

He added that India too has a role to play “as a neighbour, and potentially a very strong economic benefit to Pakistan”. Mattis said the Trump administration believed it would be difficult to ensure stability in South Asia, “not just in Afghanistan, but anywhere around Pakistan and India” unless the “safe havens” are removed.

Pakistan, Mattis said, has a “convoluted history” of terrorism. “We’ve seen the attacks on India, as well. At the same time, probably few nations, perhaps none, have lost as many troops fighting terrorists as they have.”

Mattis said he may travel to Islamabad soon, but did not give any details, reported Reuters.

On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

The Donald Trump administration on Wednesday supported India’s opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, saying it passes through disputed territory and no country should put itself into a position of dictating the Belt and Road initiative. The corridor, a flagship project of China’s One Belt One Road, passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The US’ stand comes after Mattis met his counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week.