ISLAMABAD, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Pakistan early Monday to begin talks with political and civilian leaders on topics that include cracking down on terrorist groups that have used the country as a safe haven.
Kerry, joined by Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the chief of the U.S. Central Command in the Middle East and South Asia, is expect to push for strong efforts against extremist groups, especially after the recent terrorist attack on a Peshawar school that left some 140 dead.
"Part of the secretary's core message will be to ensure that actions are met with a real and sustained effort to constrain the ability of the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e Taiba, the Afghan Taliban, and other militants who pose a threat to regional stability and to direct U.S. interests," a senior State Department official, told The New York Times on the condition of anonymity.
Kerry was expected to immediately meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his national security advisers to also encourage greater cooperation between the country and Afghanistan. This is Kerry's first visit to Pakistan since August 2013. He is expected to travel to France later this week.