McCain asks Pakistan to play role for peace in Afghanistan
“Pakistan’s role is imperative for stability in the region. US lauds Pakistan’s sacrifices and gives it paramount importance for establishment of peace in the region,” he said while heading a US delegation in a meeting with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary were also present on the occasion.
Pakistan and the United States discussed host of issues including Afghanistan, F-16 and regional security situation in the meeting.
John McCain lauded Pakistan’s role in reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He also called for joint efforts of the two countries to curb the menace of terrorism.
The head of the US delegation also expressed satisfaction over improved security situation in Miran Shah, North Waziristan.
“US understands that only Pakistan can play role in stability of Afghanistan,” he said.
He said US was aware of Pakistan’s defence requirements and wanted to improve ties in all the sectors.
Sartaj Aziz said meeting with the US delegation ended on a positive note. Pakistan was committed for establishment of peace in Afghanistan.
He also said the US delegation visited North Waziristan and expressed satisfaction over the law and order situation there.
Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that Pakistan would continue to play its role for Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
US Senators astounded at pacific situation in Miran Shah
McCain accompanied by a congressional delegation including senator Lindsey Graham and senator Joe Donnelly today went to North Waziristan Agency to visit areas cleared of terrorists in Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Having seen firsthand, the erstwhile hide outs and communication infrastructure, been cleared of terrorists, the delegation was highly appreciative of Pakistan Army’s accomplishment of cleansing the entire area of North Waziristan right upto Pak-Afghan Border.
Senators also commended the rehabilitation work being carried out by Pak Army to resettle tribesmen back in their area with dignity and honour.
Later the delegation also met with wounded soldiers and officers who were seriously affected during initial phases Zarb-e- Azb and have now voluntarily rejoined the battlefield. The visitors appreciated the determination and grit of all affected Pakistani soldiers and their unparalleled sacrifice for their motherland
John McCain said that they are going back with a positive message from Pakistan. He said they were surprised to visit to Miran Shah.
He said that they were satisfied to see the better law and order situation in North Waziristan. He said the enemy of Pakistan and the United States is common.
The US Senator said that both the countries will have to jointly fight for the elimination of terrorism.
“We come back with a message that we have a common enemy in ISIS, radical Islam and terrorism, and we look forward to closer relations and resolving the differences we have,” McCain said.
Olson calls on Ishaq Dar
In a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson in Islamabad, Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said a comprehensive roadmap was imperative for safe and honourable repatriation of Afghan refugees.
The minister apprised the US official of his detailed interaction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the issue, Radio Pakistan reported.
He said performance benchmarks needed to be put in place to ensure that the agreed timelines for repatriation can be met.
Earlier, the two sides exchanged views on the issue of Afghan refugees and efforts by Pakistan to streamline movement of goods and people across Pak-Afghan border.
Ambassador Olson while discussing matters relating to the Afghan refugees, said Pakistan’s contribution in hosting the Afghan refugees was acknowledged and commended by the international community.
He said safe, early and permanent repatriation of refugees to their homeland is a priority. He expressed support for efforts aimed at strengthening Pak-Afghan bilateral relations.