Strong Pakistan-US partnership essential to deal with challenges

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APP26-03 ISLAMABAD: July 03 - A five-member US Senate delegation led by Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM House. APP

ISLAMABAD, July 3 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Monday said as longstanding partners and strategic allies, a
sustained and strong Pakistan-US partnership was essential to deal
with the various challenges confronting the region and beyond.
He was talking to a five-member high powered, bipartisan US
Senate delegation led by Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate
Armed Services Committee who called on him here at the PM House.
The members of the US delegation included Senators Lindsey
Graham (Republican), Elizbeth Warren (Democrat), Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat) and David Perdue (Republican).
The Prime Minister was assisted by Minister for Finance Ishaq
Dar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz,
National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Nasser Khan Janjua and other
senior officials.
The Prime Minister apprised the delegation about his
Government’s efforts over the last four years to combat terrorism
and that its success could be measured by the markedly improved
security situation in Pakistan.
He also highlighted the economic turnaround that manifested in
enhanced investor interest and confidence in Pakistan.
Prime Minister underscored his government’s commitment to good
neighborly relations and highlighted various initiatives to improve
relations with Afghanistan and India.
On Afghanistan, Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s
commitment to support all efforts aimed at lasting peace and
stability in Afghanistan.
He said that concerted efforts were needed for a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process.
Prime Minister called a strong partnership between the US,
Afghanistan and Pakistan as a prerequisite for achieving sustainable
peace in Afghanistan.
In this regard, he also stressed the importance of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) mechanism to facilitate Afghan reconciliation.
With reference to Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime
Minister expressed serious concern over the gross human rights
violations and brutal repression of unarmed Kashmiris.
He underscored the legitimacy of the Kashmir cause and urged
the world community, especially the United States to play its role
in ending the sufferings of the people of Indian occupied Jammu and
Kashmir.
Senator McCain agreed that continued close cooperation between
the US and Pakistan was essential for securing peace and stability
in the region.
He said the United States of America attached importance to
its relations with Pakistan, which remained a close friend and ally.
The Senators appreciated the contributions and sacrifices made by
Pakistan and the successes achieved in the fight against terrorism.
The Senators also praised the economic turnaround in Pakistan
and stressed the importance of intensifying mutually beneficial
trade and investment cooperation.