WASHINGTON - Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who arrived on Tuesday evening for a four-day visit to the US capital, had a "candid" exchange of views on Afghanistan and other issues with the members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at Capitol Hill on Wednesday, officials said.

The foreign minister was accompanied by Ambassador Sherry Rehman. On the US side, Chairperson Senator Dianne Feinstein, Vice-Chairman Senator Saxby Chambliss and senators Richard Burr, Dan Coats, Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio and James Risch attended the meeting.

Hina is scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday in an effort to push US-Pakistan relations forward.

During a one-hour meeting, the foreign minister apprised the committee members of the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices Pakistan has made to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and build a peaceful, stable South and Central Asia, a press release of the Pakistan embassy said. The foreign minister told the senators that Pakistan attached great importance to its relationship with the US and that the people of Pakistan wanted their contributions and sacrifices in fighting terrorism recognised and appreciated.

She said it was important that Pakistan's priorities, concerns and constraints were better understood by the US.  Hina said she was in Washington to have in-depth discussions on how best to deal with the challenges in the bilateral relationship and to build on the recent positive momentum in strengthening the special relationship between Pakistan and the United States.

The foreign minister informed the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Pakistan aimed to have a genuine dialogue with the US on Afghanistan. She reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to use the trilateral mechanism to promote an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.

Instability in Afghanistan, she said, threatened Pakistan more than any other nation on earth. She reiterated that Pakistan was a critical part of the solution to the Afghan dilemma.