WASHINGTON: The current ties between Pakistan and the United States are marked by deep cooperation and the Obama administration acknowledges efforts by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for peace and stability in South Asia.
This was stated by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi talking to APP here after his intense engagements with the US officials and lawmakers. Describing his visit as highly productive, he said, all the benchmarks set for the trip had been achieved.
The meetings with US officials and lawmakers helped to further build the mutual trust that will be passed on to the next administration, he said as the United States prepares for the 2016 presidential election. He also confirmed that Prime Minister Sharif will visit the US to attend the UN General Assembly in September.
He said that US officials and lawmakers were highly appreciative of the vision of Prime Minister Sharif to improve ties with neighbouring countries for peace and stability in the region that was needed to propel economic growth to the benefit of common people.
Fatemi said that Western powers and the United States desired peace in South Asia and resolution of all disputes between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Kashmir, through peaceful mean.
He said Pakistan wants the Kashmir dispute to be resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions, adding that there could not be peace in the region without the solution of the core dispute.
Tariq Fatemi said that Pakistan and the United States face common challenges of promoting peace and stability in the region, particularly Afghanistan.
The US administration and lawmakers fully acknowledged the efforts by Pakistan to bring the Afghan government and the Taliban on to the negotiating table, he said while referring to the recent talks between the two sides held in Pakistan’s hill resort of Murree.
But, he made it clear that whole process was Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and that Pakistan was only playing the role of a facilitator.
Responding to a question, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister said that all the misperceptions between Pakistan and the United States have been removed and the relations were moving in right direction. “There were no demands of, “do more” any more, he added.
He said both Pakistan and the United States were satisfied with the ongoing cooperation in the areas of healthcare, energy, defence and counter-terrorism.
To another question, Fatemi said that the issue of civil nuclear cooperation also came under discussion and Pakistan expects that it will be meted out the same treatment as other countries.
He said that Pakistan’s point of view was very clear that the policy of civil nuclear cooperation should be non-discriminatory and based on criteria applicable to all countries.
In this respect, he recalled that Pakistan’s efforts for global non-proliferation has been appreciated by all, including the United States and that Pakistan’s current nuclear power plants were under IAEA safeguards.
To a question regarding the recent terrorist attack in India’s Gurdaspur, he said that Pakistan has strongly condemned it as it was opposed to all acts of terrorism and strictly adhered to the policy of non-interference, particularly with its neighbours.