Pakistan, US share desire for deep, enduring multi-faceted partnership: Foreign Secretary

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WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (APP): As Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz
Sharif held meetings with senior US Administration officials
including Secretary of State John Kerry here late Wednesday, there
was a strong desire from both the sides to further strengthen and
turn their bilateral ties into a deep and enduring multi-faceted
partnership.
“During the important meetings there appeared an impression as
well as the desire from both sides that Pak-US relationship should
not be security-centric alone, rather it should base on deep and
enduring multi-faceted partnership”, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed
Chaudhry said while briefing the newsmen about the Prime Minister’s
back-to-back meetings with senior US officials.
Besides the meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, the
Prime Minister also held meetings with Senate and House Foreign
Affairs Committees, Secretaries of Treasury and Energy, MD IMF.
The Prime Minister also addressed a business forum organized
by Pak-US Business Council, he added.
The Foreign Secretary said during the meeting with John Kerry,
the two sides discussed counter-terrorism measures, the prospects of
peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan as well as the
situation in South Asia.
John Kerry, he said, appreciated Pakistan’s counter-terrorism
efforts as well as its role as a facilitator in advancing the
reconciliation process in Afghanistan.It was agreed to continue
cooperation to tackle challenges in the region.
Regarding the situation in South Asia, the Foreign Secretary
said, Prime Minister Sharif, who wanted peace in South Asia informed
the US side about his “peace initiative” he had announced during the
annual UN General Assembly session last month.
During the meeting, concern was expressed over the ceasefire
violations by India at the Line of Control, he added.
The Foreign Secretary said during the meeting with Kerry, the
issue of Indian involvement to destabilize Pakistan was also
discussed, and Advisor to the PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz
also presented him a copy of three dossiers, which he had already
given to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last month.
“With the tone and tenor being good in the meeting, the two
sides desired to further strengthen their bilateral relations”, he
remarked.
During the Prime Minister’s meeting with IMF team, the Foreign
Secretary said the government’s policy of economic and financial
reforms was appreciated, which also led to improvement in economy.
He said during the meetings with secretaries of treasury and
energy, the US side expressed their satisfaction over the economic
revival in Pakistan.
The Foreign Secretary said during the meetings with Senate and
House Foreign Affairs Committees, the Prime Minister apprised them
about Pakistan’s successes in the fight against terrorism and how
Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) were being rehabilitated.
During the meetings with US Senators and Congressmen, the
situation in region vis a vis Afghanistan and India as well as the
counter-terrorism efforts were also discussed, he said adding the
meetings remained positive and productive, as Pakistan presented its
point of view on different issues at the highest level.
Responding to a question, the Foreign Secretary described as
“speculation” some media reports about the discussion with US side
on Pakistan’s nuclear programme. He, however, added, Pakistan and the
United States were already having a dialogue on nuclear matters,
which would continue.
To a question, the Foreign Secretary said the United States
expressed its confidence over the effective Command and Control
structure Pakistan had to safeguard its nuclear arsenal.
About counter-terrorism measures being taken by Pakistan, he
said, there was no talk of ‘do more.’ “Pakistan has done a lot, and
now it is time for the world to do more,” he remarked.
To a question, the Foreign Secretary said Pakistan had spent
$ 1.9 billion in the fight against terrorism over the last year from
its own resources, as its leadership had taken a consensus
decision to launch the operation Zarb-e-Azb and was committed to
rid the country of this menace.
He said the Prime Minister also addressed a business forum
organized by Pakistan-US Business Council
and highlighted Pakistan’s economic achievements as well as
the potential and opportunities of investment in Pakistan in
diverse fields.