WASHINGTON - Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry at 4:30am on Monday as he is going to wrap up his two-week visit to the United States, aimed at boosting military-to-military relations, according to the State Department.

The meeting will take place at the State Department. During his visit, Gen Sharif is discussing wide-ranging security cooperation relations with top American defence leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and Central Command leader General Lloyd Austin.

The discussions are taking place at a critical time for the region amid transfer of full responsibility for security to Afghan forces and the US-led international forces’ drawdown after a decade-long war against al-Qaeda in the region.

Meanwhile, Pak-Afghan relations are also on the mend following President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Islamabad. The US-Pakistan Defence Consultative Group is going to hold its next meeting in Washington within two weeks. In a speech at the Pakistani embassy last week, Gen Sharif underlined Pakistan’s commitment to fight all terrorists without any discrimination under the ongoing Zarb-e-Azb operation launched in North Waziristan this summer. He also vowed not to let IS militancy phenomenon take roots in the region.

 The State Department officials have described the army chief’s meetings as constructive and productive.