Rice was in Islamabad on Sunday where she met Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Gen Gen Raheel Sharif.
Rice “urged Pakistan to intensify its efforts to counter terrorist sanctuaries inside its borders in order to promote regional peace and stability,” said Ned Price, Spokesman of the National Security Council of the White House.
In her talks with PM Sharif, Rice warned Pakistan about the recent terror attacks in Afghanistan by militants based in Pakistani soil, a claim made by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. The attacks in Kabul killed more than 50 people. The relation between the two countries has clearly deteriorated, which seems to be a cause of worry for the US. Pakistan has strictly been asked to improve its relations with Afghanistan.
“Terrorist and militant attacks have developed into a key point of regional friction,” said Rice.
The attacks in Afghanistan by Pakistan-based militants were “absolutely unacceptable,” a senior American official was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.
Rice also asked Pakistan to take concrete steps against the Haqqani network.
According to Pakistani diplomatic sources, Rice appreciated Pakistan’s operation in North Waziristan but urged the country to take more concrete steps against the Haqqani network.
The talks between Rice and Sharif come at a time when it is uncertain whether he US will release $300m in military aid to Pakistan. Speculation is rife, that the money could be held back if the US determines Pakistan is not doing enough to combat the Haqqani network.
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif has also been invited to visit the US for a meeting at the White House by President Barack Obama. The meeting is scheduled to happen in October, said Rice, who delivered Obama’s invite to Sharif.
“Conveyed @POTUS invitation to PM Sharif to visit the @WhiteHouse in October to continue discussions,” said Rice on twitter.
The growing tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan seems to worry the US and the country has been warned about the attacks in Kabul. But, however, in the meeting between Rice and Sharif, there was no mention of the terror attacks that took place in Indian soil, which are said to have been planned in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s relation with India too has hit a new low. The two-rivals recently called off NSA-level talks over India’s allegation that the bilateral talks need to focus on terror more than any other issue.
(With inputs from PTI)