Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Trump adviser visits Pakistan after massive airstrike

Trump adviser visits Pakistan after massive airstrike

On Thursday, a 22,000-pound GBU-43, or MOAB bomb, which is the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. military arsenal, was dropped from a C-130 military airlift aircraft, targeting an underground complex and tunnels in Afghan province of Nangarhar believed to be used by the Islamic State terrorist group, banned in Russian Federation and many other countries.

The U.S. national security advisor Herbert McMaster on Monday assured Pakistan that the Trump administration is committed to strengthening bilateral relations with the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz welcomed the visiting dignitary and apprised him of the efforts and initiatives of his government that had resulted in a marked improvement in the overall security situation.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed hope that the new USA administration might mediate between Pakistan and longtime foe India over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

McMaster's visits are being closely watched for clues to the Trump administration's future course of action in the region.US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops have been at war in Afghanistan since 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

"McMaster expressed appreciation for Pakistan's democratic and economic development, and stressed the need to confront terrorism in all its forms", said a US Embassy statement on McMaster's meeting with the top civilian and military leadership here.

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The Pentagon also rated the US backed Afghan Security Forces "promising but inconsistent" in their progress since the USA ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.

Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan and the United States have been close friends over decades and that a continued strong partnership remained critical to promoting peace and stability in the wider region.

Conveying Pakistan's concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, Monday reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to work with the global community to support efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani side also shared its perspective on the "plight of Kashmiris" in India and the status of relations with New Delhi, the statement said. Sartaj also highlighted the importance of effective border management between Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the actions required to achieve sustainable peace in the region.

Lt. Gen. McMaster thanked Aziz and acknowledged Pakistan's sacrifices in combating extremism and terrorism.

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