Cancellation of Pak-India talks, killings at LoC regrettable: US

ISLAMABAD, Aug 30 (APP): The US National Security Adviser Dr. Susan Rice Sunday, during her daylong visit here, expressed her regret over the cancellation of the scheduled talks between the National Security Advisers of Pakistan and India.

Ambassador Rice held interaction with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif.

The NSA level talks of both the countries were scheduled last week but it was cancelled after India put a precondition that Sartaj Aziz would not meet the Kashmir leadership.

A senior US official told APP that the Ambassador Rice said that the incidents of killings of civilian population at the Line of Control were also regrettable.

The official said the Ambassador discussed with Pakistani authorities Pakistan’s ties with Afghanistan and India and said the US desired Pakistan’s good ties with India and Afghanistan.

She hailed Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices in elimination of terrorism and called for country’s enhanced role for the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Dr Rice expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s efforts in Afghan reconciliation process and noted that the country should continue to work constructively to take advantage of the death of Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership transition.

Both the sides also discussed ways that Pakistan, in coordination with Kabul, could further support the Afghan-led reconciliation process at this critical juncture.

The official said that during her meetings, Ambassador Rice sought to identify the ways, both the countries could continue cooperation in key areas and put bilateral relationship on a stronger and sustainable trajectory for the long-term.

She also formally extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to visit United States in October and meet President Obama.

She said it would be an opportunity to advance that goal so that both the countries could deepen their partnership on the most pressing security challenges in South Asia.

The meetings also discussed many areas of ongoing strategic cooperation between the United States and Pakistan.

The US National Security Adviser underscored that Pakistan had been a critical partner in our common fight against violent extremists and the alliance had greatly strengthened over the past few years.

“Together, we have decimated Al-Qaeda and reduced the threat from TTP and other militant actors,” the senior US official quoted the Ambassador Rice.

She thanked Pakistan for its sacrifices in this effort, and assured senior officials that the US Government had no intention of abandoning the region.

“Even as the United States draws down in Afghanistan, our commitment to the region will be enduring,” Dr Rice said.

Source: APP