Nawaz leaves for Washington with hope for further strengthened Pak-US ties

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has left on an official visit to the United States, aimed at further enhancing and strengthening relations between the two countries.

Sharif will briefly stay in London and on Tuesday morning he will leave for Washington where he will meet US President Barack Obama on October 22.

Nawaz leaves for Washington with hope for further strengthened Pak-US ties

His visit is being undertaken at the invitation of the US president and during it, the two sides will hold talks on a host of issues including regional situation with particular reference to Afghanistan, matters relating to defence, counter-terrorism, economic, trade, education, health and climatic change.

Besides meeting with President Obama, Sharif will also meet Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee and members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his stay in the US.

The prime minister will also have business interaction with Pakistan-US Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce and Industry and also deliver a speech at the US Institute of Peace.

Earlier in a statement before embarking on his official visit to the United States, Sharif said that the relation between Pakistan and the US are advancing satisfactorily.

The prime minister has hoped expansion of the scope of US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue Framework during his talks with President Obama.

Sharif said that being a sovereign country with a strong democratic dispensation, Pakistan has rendered unmatched sacrifice in war on terror as a front-line state. He said that the success of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb is a manifestation of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment against terrorism and extremism.

Nawaz Sharif further said that Pakistan is fighting the war on terror to ensure peace and prosperity on its own territory and to make South Asia, and the region beyond, a hub of peace and development.

“Pakistan is a responsible sovereign nuclear State,” Sharif said adding that it’s strategic assets are secured under a foolproof arrangement.

Moreover, he said that Pakistan’s nuclear status is a deterrence against any external aggression.

No civil nuclear deal to be discussed in Nawaz-Obama meeting: FO

Meanwhile on Monday, the Foreign Office brushed aside reports which says that a civil nuclear deal is expected to be discussed in Nawaz-Obama meeting in exchange for Pakistan’s willingness to further curb its nuclear program.

“No “deal” is being discussed between the two countries. Nor has the US made any demand on Pakistan,” the Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said on Monday.

The spokesperson said that history is a testimony to the fact that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepts no demand from any state.

“He (Nawaz Sharif) firmly believes in policies directed at preserving, protecting and promoting Pakistan’s national interests,” Khalilullah said.