The United States (US) National Security Adviser Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday, marking the first high-level interaction between Pakistan and the US since the Trump administration arrived in the Oval Office.

McMaster arrived in Islamabad on Monday on an unannounced visit, a day after he met with Afghan leaders, where he suggested Washington may take a stronger line on Islamabad.

"As all of us have hoped for many many years, we have hoped that Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after these [militant] groups less selectively than they have in the past and the best way to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy not through the use of proxies that engage in violence," McMaster said in an interview with Afghanistan's Tolo News Sunday.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the meeting reportedly apprised Gen McMaster of Pakistan's efforts and initiatives that have resulted in a marked improvement in the overall security situation.

The prime minister also told Gen McMaster that Pakistan looks forward to a "mutually beneficial partnership with the US and to working with the new US Administration, to promote peace and security in the region and beyond."

Prime Minister Sharif also conveyed Pakistan’s readiness to work with the international community to explore ways in which the Afghan crisis can be resolved.

On relations with India, the prime minister reiterated his firm conviction that sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement is the only way forward in resolving outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, including the Kashmir dispute.

He welcomed President Trump’s willingness to help India and Pakistan resolve their differences, particularly on Kashmir, and noted that this could go a long way in bringing sustainable peace, security and prosperity to the region.

General McMaster conveyed American President Donald Trump's greetings and assured the premier that the new administration was committed to strengthening bilateral relations and working with Pakistan to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider South Asian region.

Later, the US National Security Adviser also met Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, the military's media wing said. Relation between Pakistan and US, defence cooperation and regional security issues were discussed during the meeting, it said.

McMaster's visits are being closely watched for clues as to the Trump administration's future course of action in the region.

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