The United States has called on Pakistan to take “sustained and irreversible action” against terror groups operating from its soil, Voice of America reported on Monday. The comments came in the backdrop of acting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells’ four-day visit to Pakistan.

“We expect our bilateral relationship to continue to mature to one more focused on trade than aid, and we are continuing to target investments in ways that help improve the overall business climate,” an unidentified State Department spokesperson told the multimedia agency.

The spokesperson said the Donald Trump administration viewed the US relationship with Pakistan as “one of potential”. “Washington looks forward to working with Islamabad on energy and agricultural exports in 2020,” the spokesperson added.

“We have made clear that fulfilling that potential requires progress on our joint efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan and on Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible action against the militant groups and terrorist groups that destabilise the region from its soil,” said the US official.

Islamabad has long had a tense relationship with the United States over the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, and US officials have frequently accused it of supporting the Taliban. Ties between the two countries improved after Islamabad’s cooperation in facilitating Washington’s peace talks with the Islamist militants.