APP29-09 WASHINGTON: December 09 - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi in a group photo with the Chairman US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker at the Capitol Hill. APP

WASHINGTON, Dec, 9 (APP): Pakistan is determined to eliminate scourge  of terrorism from its soil and is targeting all terrorist networks without any discrimination, Syed Tariq Fatemi, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Foreign Affairs said in meetings with ranking US lawmakers.

Describing Pakistan as an important partner, the lawmakers, including
Chairmen of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees expressed desire for strengthening bilateral ties in meetings and continuing cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Fatemi spent a busy day in Washington as part of his engagement with
lawmakers and those who are likely to be involved in the next administration of President-elect Donald Trump who will assume the office on January, 20 after winning election in November.

In his meeting with Senator John McCain, the Chair of the Senate Armed  Services Committee (SASC), he shared the overall security situation in the region.

He informed the Senator about the significant gains made by Pakistani
forces following the successful military operations in North Waziristan which were aimed at eliminating all terrorists, without any discrimination, from the Pakistani soil.

The regional situation including Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan
and the growing tension across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary were also discussed.

Recalling his visit to Pakistan in summer this year, Senator McCain
appreciated the efforts by Pakistan to eliminate terrorist outfits from the region and assured the SASC’s continued support in realizing the common objective of defeating terrorism.

He congratulated Pakistan on successful transition in the military
command and reiterated the US commitment to remain engaged with Pakistan in promoting lasting peace and stability in the region.

The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs was
received by the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the Capitol Hill this afternoon.

Chairman Senator Bob Corker and Ranking Member Senator Ben Cardin,  together with their senior staffers, welcomed the SAPM along with Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Fatemi conveyed the good wishes of the Prime Minister to the leadership of the Senate and thanked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for its support and assistance to Pakistan.

He briefed the Senators on how Pakistan had turned the page by focusing  on improving economy and security in the country during the last three years.

The SAPM also appreciated role of the US Congress in authorizing the
critical counter-terrorism assistance that helped Pakistan in eradicating the terrorist networks operating from FATA and promoting peace and stability in the region.

Highlighting the massive human rights violations in the Indian occupied
Kashmir as well as the continued tension across the Line of Control, the SAPM briefed the Senators on the increasing negative implications for prospects of peace in South Asia because of Indian hostility and belligerence.

The leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee acknowledged  Pakistan’s role in promoting peace and security in the region and expressed the US desire to strengthen bilateral ties with Pakistan, which was a longstanding and important partner of the United States.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee overseas the US foreign policy
priorities across the globe and also authorizes the US economic and humanitarian assistance for partner countries.

Fatemi also met with Congressman Eliot Engel, Ranking Member, House
Foreign Affairs Committee, and expressed Pakistan’s firm commitment to act against all terrorist networks, without any discrimination.

Citing improved security situation in Pakistan, the SAPM highlighted
that Pakistan’s recent ongoing efforts had already yielded remarkable success.

Fatemi also apprised Congressman Engel on economic developments in
Pakistan and the government’s efforts to spur domestic growth.

Regional developments also came under discussion and the SAPM underlined  Pakistan’s commitment to work for a peaceful neighborhood, anchored on good neighborly relations and regional economic connectivity.

The SAPM and the Ranking Member agreed to continue working toward a  stronger Pakistan-US relationship in future.