BEIJING: Amid mounting US pressure on Pakistan to rein in terror groups, China today backed its all-weather ally and said Washington should "give full recognition" to Islamabad's "active efforts" to combat terrorism.
"Pakistan is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, reacting to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford's remarks that Pakistan's spy agency ISI has connections with terrorist groups and Islamabad should change its behaviour.
Over the years, Pakistan has made active efforts to combat terrorism and made huge sacrifices to combat terrorism, the ministry said in a written response to a question from PTI about Gen Dunford's comments. US Defence Secretary James Mattis told a House Armed Services Committee that the US has asked Pakistan to change its behaviour and Washington will "try one more time" to work with Islamabad to end its support for terrorists. Latest reports said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will visit Pakistan to convey President Donald Trump's tough message to change its policies of backing terrorist groups.
"We believe that the international community should give full recognition to Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts," the ministry said. China supports the international community to strengthen international anti-terrorism cooperation and form a concerted effort, it said. "We hope that the two countries will cooperate in the fight against terrorism on the basis of mutual respect and work together for the security and stability of the region and the world," the ministry added.