ISLAMABAD - US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster talked with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on telephone Friday.

The two leaders exchanged views on matters of bilateral interest. The finance minister congratulated McMaster on assuming the important responsibility as the National Security Adviser and said he looked forward to working with him to further develop and enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

He said the improved security conditions as well as the economic turnaround achieved in last three years provide an excellent opportunity to develop and promote an economic partnership between the two countries. He further said Pakistan believes in a peaceful neighbourhood and is keen to work with friends and partners for peace in the region and beyond. Referring to success of operation Zarb-e-Azb and encouraging results of Raddul Fasaad, he said these demonstrate our commitment to eradicate terrorism.

McMaster said the administration of President Trump looking forward to working with Pakistan to pursue the common objectives of peace and security. He said sacrifices made by Pakistan's armed forces as well as civilians to improve the security conditions were admirable. He said Pakistan had also made impressive progress on economic side.

He said security was an important prerequisite to unlock the immense economic potential of the region and the US would like to work closely with Pakistan in this regard. He said he looked forward to meet the finance minister during his visit to Washington later in the month.

PAKISTAN ASKED TO WORK WITH AFGHANISTAN

Special Correspondent adds: The US has urged Pakistan to work with Afghanistan in combating terrorists, while acknowledging Islamabad's effort towards that end. "We’ve been very clear, while we understand that Pakistan has made efforts to confront terrorism and terror organisations on its own soil, that there are still what we call safe havens that exist to operate from and carry strikes out on Afghanistan. That’s a problem," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner told the press briefing. "Again, it’s in Pakistan’s interest to work constructively with Afghanistan to address those security concerns," he said.