US national security adviser discusses Afghanistan

WEB DESK: US National Security Adviser Susan Rice met prime minister on Sunday to press concerns over attacks allegedly launched by militants based in Pakistan, officials said.

The visit to Islamabad, part of an Asian tour that included an earlier stop in China, comes amid uncertainty over whether the United States will release $300 million in military aid to Pakistan. Media reports have suggested the money could be held back if the United States determines Pakistan is not doing enough to combat the Haqqani network, which has launched some of the deadliest attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Rice “will address areas of mutual interest and of concern, including terrorist and militant attacks emanating from Pakistani soil”, a senior US official who asked not to be identified told Reuters.

The official said Rice’s visit was not in response to recent escalating tension between Pakistan and arch-rival India, who cancelled planned peace talks last weekend. Nine people were killed during an exchange of fire on Friday along a border disputed by India and Pakistan.

The United States has urged Pakistan and India to get reconciliation talks back on track.

Rice met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday.

“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 Sharif’s office said.