A top US diplomat has urged Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to “sustain pressure on militant groups, deny them a safe-haven, and prevent cross-border attacks”, US officials said Friday.
US Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns spoke on these issues as he concluded his two-day visit to Pakistan after meeting senior political and military leaders Friday.
“Militancy continues to threaten Pakistan’s revival. Few countries have paid a heavier price than Pakistan in the fight against extremism.
“We support the prime minister’s efforts to reestablish authority over all Pakistani territory in whatever way Pakistan deems appropriate, and especially urge him to sustain pressure on militant groups, deny them a safe-haven and prevent cross-border attacks,” Xinhua quoted Burns as saying in a statement.
“Countering cross-border militancy and shutting down safe havens is critical not only for Pakistan’s long-term peace and prosperity but also for positive relations between Pakistan and all its neighbours, including Afghanistan,”the statement quoted the senior US official as saying.
Burns arrived in Islamabad Thursday evening for talks on security matters at a time when the foreign forces are devising exit strategy.