Trump adviser visits Pakistan after massive airstrike

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev speaks with Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah on the sidelines of the SCO prime ministers meeting in Kyrgyzstan

The United States reaffirmed support to improve the develop the capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) particularly the Afghan Air Force, the US National Security Adviser Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster has said.

McMaster met Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan and President Ashraf Ghani among other top Afghan officials.

The statement said Ghani told McMaster he appreciated U.S. assistance and sacrifice there and underscored the threat of terrorism.

Speaking to a local Afghan television station after concluding his meetings in Kabul, McMaster withheld comments on whether a new strategy the Trump administration is putting together will include a boost to American troop strength in Afghanistan. Conveying Pakistan's concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Sartaj reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to work with the worldwide community to support efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Army General John Nicholson, who leads US and worldwide forces in Afghanistan, had recently called for a "holistic review" of the relationship with Pakistan, echoing longstanding USA concerns that the Haqqani network, a militant group, enjoys sanctuary in areas in that country along the Afghan border.

U.S. troops have been fighting there for almost 16 years, and last week, the United States military dropped one of its largest non-nuclear bombs on an ISIS target in the country.

Master will hold discussions with the Pakistani leadership regarding Pakistan-USA relations as well as regional security.

During McMasters call on, Sharif, while talking about Indo-Pak ties, reiterated his "firm conviction" to sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement as the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute, a Prime Ministers Office (PMO) statement here said.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Aziz, Fatemi, Janjua, and other senior officials.

The Indian-administered side of Kashmir has seen a recent spike in separatist violence amid accusations of brutality against supporters of the 28-year-old insurgency that India accuses Pakistan of fomenting.

Sharif contended these developments captured the spirit of "new Pakistan" and said there was "across-the-board consensus achieved by his government to combat extremism and terrorism".

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



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