ISLAMABAD - US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale and Secretary Defence Lt Gen (r) Mohammad Alam Khattak discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of infrastructure development and defence between the two countries.

Acknowledging the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the ongoing war on terror and appreciating the successful role played by Pakistan through operation Zarb-e-Azb, Hale assured maximum support in counterterrorism and in infrastructure development in Pakistan.

The US ambassador on Wednesday called on secretary defence and stressed the need of further enhancing the cooperation between the two countries in diverse areas. “Pak-US bilateral relations will continue to evolve on principles of mutual respect, shared common interests and understanding each other’s perspectives,” they said. The secretary defence also highlighted the need for further enhancing and diversifying the bilateral defence relations from the present confines of counterterrorism to the realms of conventional defence and suggested a broader Defence Cooperation Framework having a more futuristic outlook.

The US ambassador termed the recent US visits of Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif very productive, especially the holding of 24th Defence Consultative Group meeting in December last year has further strengthened the relations between the two countries.

Citing the role being played by Pakistan in facilitating the present peace talk between Taliban and Afghan government, the secretary defence said that Pakistan is a responsible state and would play its positive role in bringing peace in the region.

The issue of decrease in Coalition Support Fund and the economic difficulties being faced by Pakistan in dealing with the crises of NWA IDPs also came under discussion.

The secretary defence stressed that the world should recognize the role played by Pakistan and its efforts for regional peace and security. He urged that US may use its influence in bringing peace and stability in the region.