ISLAMABAD: US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns during his visit to Pakistan held meetings with Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, special assistant to the prime minister Tariq Fatemi and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.
Sources close to the meetings said that Burns conveyed the message of the United States to top Pakistani civil and military officials during the meetings, asking for the destruction of terrorist sanctuaries located in North Waziristan. On behalf of the US, he requested that this operation should be completed before the installation of the new political administration in Kabul.
During the meetings, the two sides discussed Pakistan-US bilateral relations and regional issues, including Afghanistan, said a Foreign Office spokesperson.
Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson also attended the meeting between US deputy secretary of state and special assistant to the prime minister, Tariq Fatemi during which the importance Pakistan attaches to stronger Pakistan-U.S. cooperation in diverse fields was underscored.
Fatemi expressed satisfaction at the positive direction and momentum of Pak-US bilateral relations after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington.
Both sides noted with satisfaction that the Ministerial Review of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held subsequently which had further sustained this process.
With regards to Afghanistan, both countries emphasised the importance of deeper consultations between Pakistan and the US.
Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, during his meeting with Mr Burns, reiterated Pakistan’s support for the democratic process in Afghanistan and stressed that smooth security and economic transitions were also fundamental for stability in Afghanistan and the region.
Both sides also discussed the post-2014 situation and matters relating to Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
During meeting with Pakistan's top military commander General Raheel Sharif, Burns discussed security along the Pak-Afghan border and shared more information about terrorist sanctuaries, calling for possible strikes against them.
The visiting US deputy secretary of state also held meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.