U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is in Pakistan to meet with the prime minister and other top officials to discuss a range of topics, "particularly terrorist and militant attacks emanating from Pakistani soil," according to the U.S. State Department.
After Rice met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sunday in Islamabad, the Pakistani leader's office said little about the content of the talks, noting that they focused on matters of bilateral interest and the future of Pakistan-U.S. relations.
Rice has also held delegation-level talks with Mr. Sharif's advisor on national security and foreign policy, Sartaj Aziz, and planned to meet with Pakistan's military chief General Raheel Sharif.
Ahead of Sunday's talks the U.S. State Department said Rice was likely to discuss Pakistan's role in Afghanistan's effort to negotiate peace with the Taliban and the recent rise in tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi.
VOA's Ayaz Gul reports Pakistani officials said they would emphasize during meetings with Rice that direct meetings between the Kabul government and the Taliban must resume quickly.
Rice's talks also are believed to involve the agenda for an expected visit to Washington by Sharif in late October. Pakistani officials have spoken of Sharif's travel plans privately, but there has been no announcement by the U.S. side.
Local news reports speculated that the visit was arranged in response to the tensions with India following violent incidents in the Kashmir region, which is claimed by both countries. But the State Department said the visit had been planned for weeks and was unrelated to that situation.
It said Rice had always planned to stop in Islamabad after two days of high-level talks in Beijing ahead of next month's White House meetings between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping.