Pak-US to work closely against intolerance and extremism

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP): Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan has underscored the need for United States and Pakistan to work closely not only for the stability, peace and socio-economic development of the region but also in fighting rising tide of intolerance and extremism that appears to have swept the entire globe.
He said this in a meeting with US delegation headed by US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken here at Punjab House on Thursday. The US delegation included among others Ambassador David M. Hale, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Olson, Principal Deputy SRAP Laurel Miller, Director USAID Pakistan John Groarke and other senior officials.

Pak-US multifaceted relations and mutual cooperation especially in the security area was discussed during the meeting along with regional situation and other issues of mutual concern.

The US Deputy Secretary of State expressed his appreciation for the efforts that Pakistan has been making for regional peace and development. He remarked that successful holding of Heart of Asia Conference was a clear manifestation of Pakistan’s sincerity to promote security, peace and development not only in the neighboring Afghanistan but the
entire region.

He also appreciated the efforts that the country and its people have made in fighting the menace of terrorism. Mr. Blinken also welcomed the decision of Pakistan and India to resume their dialogue process.

The interior minister during his remarks expressed his condolences over the loss of lives, as a result of recent incident of California shootings and said that the whole world was saddened by this unfortunate incident carried out by two individuals.

Reiterating that extremism was not only confined to a specific region or a territory but the entire world was threatened by it, the minister observed that the need to make collective efforts against this rising wave of intolerance, extremism and Islamophobia was never as great as it is today.

He observed that there is a need to exercise restraint by the leaders in making public statements and avoid utterance that could potentially hurt the sentiments of any religious community.

The minister said that while there is a need to make collective efforts against extremist elements, individuals and groups, the international community must not close its eyes to certain actions at the state level in some countries that appear to be targeting certain
communities and specific groups.

He said that hatred and vindictiveness at any level would only sow the seeds of discontent and would be counterproductive towards ensuring lasting peace.US Deputy Secretary of State appreciated Minister’s efforts especially towards checking human trafficking and illegal movement of people and hoped that the new policy on INGOs would facilitate rather
than hinder their work.

He assured his Government’s all possible support to Pakistan in this regard.The interior minister during the meeting called for enhancing people-to-people contacts including exchange of parliamentary delegations, civil-military personnel and media-persons for further strengthening bilateral relations and friendly equation at all levels.