ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has declined Secretary of State John Kerry's request to visit Islamabad at this point in time when the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been passing through a democratic transition.

Pakistan proposed to the top US diplomat to undertake his visit after the assumption of power by a new government instead, diplomatic sources told The Nation on Tuesday.

The State secretary, who is currently on a trip to Afghanistan and other regional countries, has to put off his plan to include Pakistan on his tour until May this year when a new government is chosen.

This ‘answer’ was conveyed to Kerry through army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a meeting in Jordan’s capital of Amman a few days ago, sources said, adding John Kerry then asked David Pearce, the US Acting Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan (ASRAP), who was accompanying him, to undertake a visit to Pakistan to take up the various urgent issues relating to the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Pearce touched down in Islamabad from Kabul on Tuesday and headed into an in-depth consultation with Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani on a host of issues, including the bilateral relations and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

"We remain positively engaged in supporting peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan," Jilani told the US dignitary, while reiterating Pakistan's commitment to peace in Afghanistan.

During the talks the two sides discussed the bilateral relations, and regional situation including the latest developments in Afghanistan. The two sides exchanged views on consolidating the bilateral relations under the strategic dialogue process in the coming months. 

Pearce briefed the foreign secretary on his recent visit to Afghanistan, and appreciated Pakistan's role in supporting peace and stability in Afghanistan. The US official also underlined Pakistan's importance in the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan. 

The foreign secretary, in his remarks, reiterated Pakistan's commitment to remain positively engaged in supporting peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. He made it clear that Pakistan was committed to supporting an Afghan-owned and an Afghan led reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Jilani also briefed the US dignitary about the steps Pakistan had taken so far towards the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, including the establishment of a Taliban office in Qatar.

Jilani also conveyed concerns of Islamabad to the US special representative about the US-led NATO forces and Afghanistan security forces failure in taking action against Taliban militant leader Maulvi Fazalullah and his comrades who had been using Afghan soil to destabilise Pakistan.