Pakistan

Pakistan ready to work with world powers to resolve Afghan crisis: US security advisor told

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said Pakistan was ready to work with the international community to explore ways to resolve Afghan crisis.

He said this while US National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H R McMaster paid a courtesy call on him.

This was Gen McMaster’s first visit to Pakistan as the US National Security Advisor and the first formal high level exchange between US and Pakistan under the new administration.

The prime minister welcomed the visiting dignitary and apprised the US NSA of the steps taken by Pakistan to reach out to both India and Afghanistan and reaffirmed his commitment to a peaceful neighbourhood.

Sharing his concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the continuing impasse, he said, “Pakistan is ready to work with the International community to explore ways in which the Afghan crisis can be resolved.”

He said on relations with India, Nawaz Sharif reiterated his firm conviction on sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement as the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan including the Kashmir dispute.

He welcomed President Trump’s willingness to help India and Pakistan resolve their differences particularly on Kashmir and noted that this could go a long way in bringing sustainable peace, security and prosperity to the region.

The PM apprised him of the efforts and initiatives of his government, which have resulted in a marked improvement in the overall security situation, while also paving way for an economic turnaround in the country.

He emphasized that the developments, which fully captured the spirit of “new Pakistan” were being widely acknowledged and appreciated by the international community.

He said that across-the-board consensus achieved by his government to combat extremism and terrorism. And structural reforms in the economy have laid the foundation of a moderate, progressive and democratic Islamic Republic that is ready to do business with the United States and the world at large.

Nawaz said that as a longstanding friend and a partner, Pakistan was looking forward to forging a strong and mutually beneficial partnership with the US and to working with the new US Administration, to promote peace and security in the region and beyond.

General McMaster conveyed the greetings of President Trump and assured the prime minister that the new administration was committed to strengthening bilateral relations and working with Pakistan, to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider South Asian region.

The visiting delegation included US Ambassador David Hale, Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan & Pakistan Laurel Miller, National Security Council and Senior Director for South Asia Lisa Curtis and National Security Council Director for Pakistan John Jay Wise.

The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Advisor to PM Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant for PM Tariq Fatemi, NSA Lt. General (R) Nasser Khan Janjua and other senior government officials.

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