US defence secretary lauds Pakistan’s efforts in war on terror

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US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter lauded on Friday Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Pentagon, Carter said Pakistan has been at the forefront of the war on terror, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The US defence secretary appreciated the government’s efforts to achieve a national political consensus on fighting terrorism and appreciated the sacrifices made by the armed forces, law enforcement personnel and civilians.

Meanwhile, PM Nawaz expressed his satisfaction on the growing bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries over the past two years and pointed out successful cooperation in areas such as smooth movement of US retrograde cargo through GLOCs, facilitation through air lines of communication, maritime security and countering IEDs.

The prime minister also appreciated the role of Pakistan-US security cooperation in bolstering the country’s counter-terrorism capacity.

Further, both sides discussed matters related to regional peace and security, including Pakistan’s outreach to Afghanistan and facilitation extended through efforts for reconciliation.

PM Nawaz was accompanied by Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. Carter was joined by the National Security Adviser Ambassador Susan Rice, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and former US ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson.

On Thursday, US President appreciated Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, noting that it had disrupted terror plots against the US homeland as the two sides renewed their resolve to counter all forms of extremism and terrorism in the region. During a bilateral meeting between a high-powered delegation led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Obama at the White House on Thursday, the two discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, particularly terrorism in South Asia.