WASHINGTON - The United States has started an interagency review towards policy on Pakistan.

“We are beginning an interagency review toward our policy on Pakistan right now,” State department spokesperson Heather Nauert said while answering a question at a briefing.

Asked if she can give some more details about the policy review, Nauert said the policy review towards Pakistan is not the only one, but there is a list of policy reviews taking place, because there are plenty. She pointed out that there’s the Iran policy review, there’s Afghan policy review; Pakistan policy review is one of them.

The spokesperson said it’s part of an ongoing broader review of our national strategy for South Asia, which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries.

She emphasised the United States and Pakistan have a close partnership on regional peace, security, prosperity, and stability.

“We continue to work with the government of Pakistan on areas – many areas of mutual interest, including counterterrorism” she remarked.

NO DECISION YET ON NEW AFGHAN TROOP LEVELS: PENTAGON

The Pentagon said on Thursday it has not yet reached a decision on future troop levels in Afghanistan, amid speculation that Defence Secretary Jim Mattis may have finalised plans for an increase in forces to help break a stalemate with the Taliban.

"No decisions have been made," said Defence Department spokesman Jeff Davis, when asked about an Associated Press report that Mattis had decided on sending nearly 4,000 additional troops.

Still, that figure would be in line with previous comments by US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity. Reuters has reported that US deliberations were focused on sending between 3,000 and 5,000 troops to Afghanistan, where American forces have been fighting for nearly 16 years.

One official told Reuters last month that 3,800 troops could be sent but cautioned that could change, given discussions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies about their potential contributions. About 8,400 US troops are now deployed in Afghanistan.

Mattis said in testimony before the US Senate on June 14 that he is just weeks away from presenting to US President Donald Trump a new strategy that will inform his decision on troop numbers. Trump authorized Mattis to set future Afghan troop levels on Tuesday.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.