ISLAMABAD - The Unites States is happy over Pakistan’s efforts for Afghanistan peace, diplomatic sources said.

The sources told The Nation that the US had conveyed its support to Pakistan for achieving the goal of peace in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Kabul over the weekend to discuss Pak-Afghan ties and overall peace in the region with the Afghan leadership.

On Saturday, FM Qureshi said his visit to Kabul was ‘very advantageous’, adding that the ‘clouds of fear’ had faded away. He said that both the countries had decided to strengthen contacts and advance the reconciliation process. Qureshi maintained that he had finalised a few things during his meetings with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani. He said that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah would visit Pakistan next month.

The minister said that the Afghan Economic Commission would be visiting Pakistan next month and the next round of talks between the two countries would also be held in October. The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan and Afghanistan would have to constitute a joint commission if the two countries had to expand economic ties. He said, “Our challenges are identical and we have to deal with them through mutual cooperation.”

This month, the US asked Pakistan to ‘deliver’ and complained that Islamabad had failed to fulfil commitments in the past. However, the two sides agreed to move forward in their relations for peace and prosperity of the region and world.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Islamabad briefly with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and others, said at the conclusion of the trip, “We made clear to them that – and they agreed – it’s time for us to begin to deliver on our joint commitments, right. So we’ve had lots of times where we’ve talked and made agreements, but we haven’t been able to actually execute those.”

He added, “And so there was broad agreement between myself and Foreign Minister (Shah Mehmood) Qureshi, as well as with Prime Minister (Imran Khan), that we need to begin to do things that will begin to actually, on the ground, deliver outcomes so that we can begin to build confidence and trust between the two countries. That was the focus of the gathering.”

Later, briefing the journalists about his meeting with Pompeo, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “We presented realistic stance of Pakistan with responsibility, seriousness and honour.” He said that the meeting was held in a pleasant environment and any perception of coldness was wrong. He said that the US delegation extended an invitation to him to visit the US. He said that during his visit to New York for UN General Assembly session, he will also call on the US Secretary of State to hold talks.

A senior official at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Qureshi would brief Pompeo about his talks with the Afghan leaders in the coming days on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. “This will be a continuation of our efforts to improve the trust level. The misunderstandings have to be removed,” he said.

Another official said that the US had contacted Pakistan over Islamabad’s recent talks with Afghanistan and agreed to work jointly for regional peace.

Pak-US ties have been frosty for several months. In January, the US suspended security assistance to Pakistan targeting the Coalition Support Fund. The State Department said that the US was suspending ‘security assistance’ to Pakistan as the trust level between the two countries had drastically declined. Washington said that Pakistan will be able to receive the suspended funding if it took ‘decisive actions’ against the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban.

Last month, the US cancelled $300 million aid to Pakistan. Another $500 million in CSF was stripped by Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, to bring the total withheld to $800 million.

This month, the US created another controversy as it backed Indian allegations regarding Pakistan’s role in the war on terror. Pakistan rejected the US-India joint statement issued in New Delhi.