US National Security Adviser calls on Nawaz
The US National Security Adviser, Dr. Susan Rice, lauded Pakistan's role against terrorism and violent extremism in her meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Sunday.
Dr Rice arrived in Islamabad to discuss a wide-range of issues that will focus on the growing Pakistan-India tension and the stalled Afghan peace process, officials said. She opened her talks with meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and "underscored the importance of strong Pakistan-US relations," the PM house said.
"Dr. Rice expressed deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the efforts to root out terrorism and extremism and the success achieved so far," a statement from the PM office said. She also expressed appreciation for the Prime Minister's vision of a peaceful neighbourhood. The US NSA noted the positive direction of ongoing cooperation between the two countries especially in the areas of Defence, Economy and Energy sectors.
She was accompanied by the Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the US National Security Council Dr. Peter Lavoy and Ambassador Richard Olson. The meeting focused on matters of bilateral interest and the future of Pakistan-US relations. The situation in the region also came under discussion, the PM's office said.
The Prime Minister said that he was looking forward to his visit to the US in October this year as an opportunity to further strengthen the ties between the two countries, the statement said. President Barrack Obama has invited Nawaz Sharif for the official visit, according to the Foreign Ministry and dates are being finalized through diplomatic channels.
The Prime Minister said that the United States is an important partner of Pakistan in all areas especially the economy, defence and counter-terrorism. He said that Pakistan sees its relations with the US as a partnership which is in the interest of the two countries, the region and the world.
Prior to her arrival in Pakistan, unnamed American officials told reporters in Washington, that the visit was planned earlier and denied Pakistani media reports that Dr Rice is visiting Pakistan in view of the Pakistan-India tensions.
"Ambassador Rice is not making an 'emergency visit' to Pakistan in response to rising tensions between India and Pakistan. Ambassador Rice's visit to Pakistan has been planned for weeks as part of her trip to Asia and is unrelated to the recent rise in tensions," he said. "While in Pakistan, Ambassador Rice will meet with senior official to advance our mutual interests and address areas of concern, particularly terrorist and militant attacks emanating from Pakistani soil," the official said.