The decision came about a week after US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly warned leaders here that if they failed to resolve protests stalling NATO supplies, it would be difficult to maintain political support in Washington for an aid programme that has sent billions of dollars to Pakistan.
    
Islamabad has, however, rejected reports that Hagel had issued such a warning during his brief visit to the country this week.
    
A news paper quoted its sources as saying that Prime Minister Sharif expressed his concern over Imran Khan's party's anti-drone policy, which was causing trouble for the government.
    
The sources said Sharif told the army chief that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had been tasked to convince Imran Khan to end his party's anti-drone protests but he had not responded so far.
    
Sharif said a definite strategy would be chalked out to end the protests, which have created problems for the government and were not in the larger interest of the people.
    
The premier and the army chief shared views on "backdoor channels" used by the US administration and diplomats representing NATO countries to pressure the Pakistan government, the daily reported.
    
A short statement issued by Sharif's office only said that the Prime Minister and the army chief discussed security related matters and other national affairs.
    
However, the daily reported that the new army chief apprised the premier about his meetings with the US Defence Secretary, his recent visit to the Line of Control and other professional matters.
    
"Issue of drone strikes needs to be resolved with the US as this is causing both internal and external problems for Pakistan," the army chief reportedly told the premier.
    
Sharif maintained that the US drone strikes were counterproductive and a "constraint in the Pak-US relationship".
    
NATO supplies were suspended last month after the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, controlled by Imran Khan's party, announced the blockade of routes running through the province.

(Agencies)

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