ISLAMABAD - Acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices in war against terrorism and promising it an enduring relationship, the US yesterday conveyed that it wanted its partner to take on all terrorists indiscriminately.

US National Security Adviser Dr Susan Rice led a delegation to Islamabad and held meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz.

In these meetings, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all bilateral fields and continue supporting each other in efforts for peace, stability and development in the region.

Miss Rice, who was accompanied by Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the US National Security Council Dr Peter Lavoy and Ambassador Richard Olsan, conveyed an invitation from President Obama to PM Sharif to visit the White House in October to continue discussions on issues of mutual interest.

The US showed its worries about surge in attacks in Afghanistan and asked Pakistan to ensure that no terrorist group finds a space on its soil to launch attacks in the neighbouring country.

Pakistan expressed its concern on India’s aggressive posture and ceasefire violations on Kashmir and Sialkot borders. Pakistan also conveyed its concerns over the block in disbursement of the next tranche of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and emphasised on its restoration.

A senior Pakistani security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the meeting of Ambassador Rice with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif lasted for two hours. “The discussion was very candid. It discussed the part that has to be played by all stakeholders, including the Americans. The focus was on the way forward,” he said.

The visit of Dr Rice comes amid uncertainty over whether the US will release $300 million in military aid to Pakistan. Some reports in US media suggested the money could be held back if the United States determines Pakistan was not doing enough to combat the Haqqani network.

Sources aware of the deliberations of these meetings informed The Nation that US delegation expressed its concern over the recent attacks in Kabul and hoped that Pakistan would gear up its operation against militants, including Haqqani network, in a blanket fashion.

Pakistani official sources however claimed that Dr Rice appreciated the role being played by Islamabad in counter-terrorism, with specific reference to developments in Afghanistan.

A senior US official, who desired not to be named, quoted Adviser Rice as saying that Pakistan has been a critical partner in “our common fight against violent extremists, an alliance we have greatly strengthened over the past few years”. “Together, we have decimated al-Qaeda and reduced the threat from TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) and other militant actors,” she added.

She thanked Pakistan for its sacrifices in this effort, and assured senior officials that US government has no intention of abandoning the region. Even as the US draws down in Afghanistan, “their commitment to the region will be enduring”. She hoped, “As we build stronger counterterrorism partnerships across the globe, Pakistan will continue to be a strong ally in this effort.”

Rice said terrorist and militant attacks have developed into a key point of regional friction. “Addressing this challenge will be imperative for Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours and with Washington, especially given the recent upsurge in violence in Kabul and the Taliban’s bloody campaign this fighting season in Afghanistan,” the source quoted her as saying.

On Afghan reconciliation, Ambassador Rice expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s efforts in that process. She noted that Pakistan should continue to work constructively to take advantage of the death of Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership transition. They also discussed ways and means how Islamabad in coordination with Kabul, could further support the Afghan-led reconciliation process.

A source in the ruling PML-N informed that Premier Sharif took Dr Rice into confidence regarding prevailing security situation in the region, particularly the relations with India and Afghanistan. The PM reiterated Pakistan’s stance of holding meaningful and objective dialogue on all outstanding issues with New Delhi. He also informed the US delegation the reasons behind the cancellation of NSAs talks.

Dr Rice underscored the importance of strong Pakistan-US relations. She noted the positive direction of ongoing cooperation between the two countries especially in the areas of defence, economy and energy sectors.