ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and the United States Tuesday reaffirmed resolve to make their relations more constructive and positive by deepening cooperation in various fields, including counter terrorism and regional security.

This transpired in a series of meetings US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) Ambassador Daniel Feldman held with Pakistan’s civil and military leaders shortly after arrival on a two days’ visit. He would also meet members of civil society.

The visiting US dignitary met separately with PM’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz , Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, and exchanged views on bilateral relations, situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan relations and relations with India.

Against the backdrop of the recent LoC shelling and India’s refusal to continue talks, Ambassador Feldman agreed with the view that there was a need to resume the Pak-India dialogue process as expeditiously as possible.

The Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement that Dan Feldman and Sartaj Aziz discussed bilateral relations, recent developments in Afghanistan and in Pakistan-Afghanistan relations and relations with India.

During the meeting, Pakistan’s support for a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan was reaffirmed. The adviser stated that Pakistan was determined to open a new chapter in its relations with Afghanistan. Also, Pakistan would extend support for an Afghan-led reconciliation process. The SRAP was told that Pakistan was engaging with Afghanistan across a broad range of issues, including peace and security, trade and economic ties, reconstruction and rehabilitation, and regional cooperation. Pakistan hoped that the upcoming visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani would move this process forward.

Regarding relations with India, the adviser stated that Pakistan wanted normalisation of relations with India despite the recent provocations of hostilities along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. The international community needed to support an early resumption of the peace process and a resolution of all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Both the SRAP and the adviser expressed their satisfaction on the progress being made in Pak-US bilateral relations and agreed that the current round of meetings of the Working Groups on Strategic Dialogue should be completed by the year-end.

Ambassador Feldman acknowledged Pakistan’s important contribution towards peace and stability and deeper engagement on issues of trade and economic cooperation with Afghanistan. He said that the United States was willing to extend its full support in this regard. On India, he agreed that there was a need to resume the dialogue process as expeditiously as possible.

United States appreciates Pakistan for making relations more constructive and positive; he said, adding there is better understanding between the two countries at present. He said the US supports democratic institutions in Pakistan and people to people contacts between the two countries will be promoted. Both countries will continue co-operation in various fields, Feldman added.

Ambassador Feldman also called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and discussed overall regional security situation with particular reference to situation in Afghanistan. The week-long visit of the Army Chief to the US next month also came under discussion that would follow resumption of high-level political contacts between the two countries early next year.

This was Feldman’s first visit to General Headquarters since he was appointed US SRAP in August this year. After concluding his visit to Pakistan, Feldman will leave for Beijing on Wednesday for a two-day visit to China. In Beijing, Feldman will be joining a senior US delegation to participate in the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference.

“The conference is an important opportunity to discuss efforts by many in the region to expand political, security and economic support for Afghanistan,” the State Department said. Special Representative Feldman will also conduct bilateral meetings with key Chinese counterparts to exchange views on the situation in Afghanistan.