WASHINGTON - US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter expressed appreciation of the progress achieved by Pakistan in degrading terrorist networks when Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defence, on Thursday.

Carter, who invited the Pakistani leader to Pentagon, said Pakistan's military, law-enforcement personnel and civilians had made tremendous sacrifices, while noting that Pakistan has been at forefront of fighting terrorism, according to an official Press release.

He lauded the government's efforts to achieve a national political consensus on fighting terrorism.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif , Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.

On arrival, the Prime Minister was received by Secretary Carter and Honour Cordon was in place to welcome the Prime Minister to the Pentagon.

National anthems of Pakistan and the United States were played.

During the meeting, the Nawaz Sharif expressed satisfaction that bilateral defence cooperation had continued to grow over the past two years.

In particular, he noted successful cooperation in areas such as smooth movement of US retrograde cargo through Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs), facilitation through Air Lines of Communication, maritime security and counter IEDs cooperation.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the role of Pakistan-United States security cooperation in bolstering Pakistan's counter-terrorism capacity.

During the meeting both sides also discussed matters related to regional peace and security including Pakistan's outreach to Afghanistan and facilitation extended through efforts for reconciliation.

US Defence Secretary Ashton 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 US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson.

Senior officials of the US Department of Defence were also present.