ISLAMABAD - US CENTCOM commander led a delegation to Rawalpindi and met with Pakistan Army high command on Friday, the day President Trump had assembled his national security team at Camp David to find a way to break Afghanistan ‘stalemate’.

Heading his team, United States Central Command chief General Joseph L Votel discussed with General Qamar Javed Bajwa matters of professional interest, with special focus on security situation in Afghanistan, ISPR said.

The COAS highlighted the importance Pakistan accords to its relations with US - particularly security cooperation and efforts towards regional stability, the military’s media wing said in a press release issued after the meeting, which was also attended by US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale.

Afghanistan situation and Pakistan’s role in a possible way forward must have been the focus of the discussion at the GHQ since the US has got increasingly impatient with the protracted Afghan war.

Trump's generals have called the conflict a "stalemate", and even after 16 years of intensive help from Nato, Afghanistan's security forces still are struggling to hold back an emboldened Taliban.

"Heading to [the presidential retreat of] Camp David for major meeting on National Security, the Border and the Military (which we are rapidly building to strongest ever)," Trump said on Twitter ahead of the talks.

At the crucial meeting, Trump has to decide if he wants to continue on the current course, which relies on a relatively small US-led Nato force to help Afghan partners push back the Taliban, or he wants to try a new tack such as adding more forces – or even withdrawing altogether.

Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had initially promised to provide a new plan for Afghanistan by mid-July. But Trump appears dissatisfied by initial proposals to add a few thousand more troops, and the strategy has been expanded to include the broader South Asia region, notably Pakistan.

We are "coming very close to a decision, and I anticipate it in the very near future," Mattis told reporters Thursday.

This is why the defence and strategic experts in Pakistan believed General Votel must have come to General Bajwa with some very specific demands, in line with the new plan the US is going to adopt for Afghanistan.

But the ISPR press release was completely silent about what the Americans said or demanded. It just talked about what Pakistanis told the visitors and focused on Islamabad’s contribution to the international efforts to put things right in Afghanistan and its sacrifices against terrorism.

The ISPR quoted the COAS as saying that Pakistan has undertaken operations against terrorists of all hue and colour. He reiterated his commitment to work in close coordination with Afghan security forces and US-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) for improved security environment in Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

While referring to Afghanistan and Pak-US relations, COAS said that no other country has more interest for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan, the press release said.

He further said “more than financial or material assistance, we seek acknowledgement of our decades long contributions towards regional peace and stability, understanding of our challenges and most importantly the sacrifices Pakistani nation and its security forces have rendered in fight against terrorism and militancy.”

The visit of the US commander came at the heels of the US declaring Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri freedom fighting outfit, a terrorist organisation – a move that invited strong reaction from Pakistan.

The Foreign Office spokesman Mafees Zakaria commenting on the US move said that declaring terrorist such organisations as are supporting freedom struggle in Occupied Kashmir lacked any justification.

He further said that entire world stands witness to the unlawful occupation of Kashmir by Indian forces and inhuman treatment towards Kashmiris by Indian forces. He said, “It is India, which is to be held responsible for the continuous bloodshed in the held territory.”

As for US trouble in Afghanistan, the situation in the war-torn country remains as deadly as ever – with more than 2,500 Afghan police and troops killed between January 1 and May 8, continuing a deadly trend from previous years.

In an early move to address the situation, Trump gave Mattis broad powers to set troop numbers in Afghanistan and elsewhere. But several months later, the level remains stuck at about 8,400 US and about 5,000 Nato troops.

The Taliban published an open letter to Trump this week warning him against sending more US troops and calling for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces.

"Previous experiences have shown that sending more troops to Afghanistan will not result in anything other than further destruction of American military and economic might," the letter stated.

Now this remains to be seen that what kind of shift Trump Administration brings in its policy and how far it succeeds in securing Pakistan’s cooperation in any new strategy.