ISLAMABAD, Mar 29 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said Pakistan attaches high priority to its strategic relationship with United States and is keen to expand ties in all fields.Talking to a delegation of US Congressmen comprising John Tiemey, Keith Ellison, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, Maurice Hinchey and Barbara Cubin in his Parliament House chamber, the Prime Minister said the people of Pakistan had given a clear mandate in favour of democratic forces which was clearly visible in the parliament.
Reiterating his government’s firm resolve to address the issue of terrorism, the Prime Minister said the country sacrificed a lot in this regard including the assassination of its leader Benazir Bhutto.
The Prime Minister said the world community needs to look into the rootcauses of terrorism which stemmed from deprivation and injustice.
He said political dialogue and provision of economic opportunities was the key to confront the issue effectively.
The Prime Minister welcomed the tabling of bill in the US Senate regarding establishment of Reconstruction Opportunities Zones (ROZs) in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He said the economic empowerment of people was the key to address the issue of extremism, adding such zones would help increase economic activities in the areas, create new jobs and improve people’s standard of living.
About Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said Pakistan desired for it’s neighbour to grow and prosper because a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in its best interest.
The delegation congratulated the Prime Minister on assuming his new responsibilities and assured support of the US congress to the new government.
The delegates expressed the confidence that democracy in Pakistan would lead the country towards progress and prosperity.
Appreciating Pakistan’s efforts against extremism and terrorism, the delegation expressed the desire for developing a stable and multi-faceted relationship with Pakistan.