ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that as longstanding partners and strategic allies, a sustained and strong Pakistan-US partnership is essential to deal with the various challenges confronting the region and beyond.
While talking to a five-member US Senate delegation led by the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain at the PM House in Islamabad on Monday, 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.
The prime minister also highlighted the economic turnaround that manifested in enhanced investor interest and confidence in Pakistan.
The US delegation included Senators Lindsey Graham (Republican), Elizbeth Warren (Democrat), Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat) and David Perdue (Republican) while the prime minister was assisted by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser Lt. General Nasser Khan Janjua and other senior officials.
The prime minister underscored his government’s commitment to good neighborly relations and highlighted various initiatives to improve relations with Afghanistan and India.
On Afghanistan, the 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.
Nawaz Sharif 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.
The prime minister 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 John McCain agreed that continued close cooperation between the US and Pakistan was essential for securing peace and stability in the region.
The US Senator said that 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. They also praised the economic turnaround in Pakistan and stressed the importance of intensifying mutually beneficial trade and investment cooperation.