A top American general has told the country's lawmakers thatthe United States needs to maintain strong military ties with Pakistan.
The statement comes ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister ImranKhan's meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House later thismonth.
"While we have suspended security assistance and pausedmajor defense dialogues, we need to maintain strong military-to-military tiesbased on our shared interests," General Mark A Milley, who has beennominated as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in response to writtenquestions for his confirmation hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
President's South Asia Strategy recognises Pakistan as a keypartner in achieving US interests in South Asia, including developing apolitical settlement in Afghanistan; defeating al-Qa'ida (AQ) andISIS-Khorasan; providing logistical access for US forces; and enhancingregional stability, he said on Thursday.
"If confirmed as Chairman, my objective would be topreserve the defense relationship between the United States and Pakistan evenas we press Pakistan to take action on US requests," he added.
Responding to another question, Milley said Pakistan hasmade positive contributions in support of Afghan reconciliation.
However, since the suspension of security assistance,Pakistan has also expanded its outreach to other countries, including Russiaand China, to meet its security and economic assistance needs, he said.