United States says Pakistan 'critical' to long term stability in the region

Kay Bailey Hutchison | Mark Wilson  Getty Images

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif left for the United States on a three-day visit on Tuesday to hold bilateral talks with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson and other officials on a range of issues including Trump administration's new policy for the region.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday met his counterpart Rex Tillerson in Washington hours after the top USA military officer accused Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of having ties with militant groups.

Talking to a private news channel the minister said Pakistan had rendered supreme sacrifices in war against terrorism.

Tillerson said that he believed that the U.S. has a partner in Pakistan.

On giving India role in Afghanistan, the foreign minister said, Pakistan is not happy with this approach as New Dehli is involved in destabilizing Pakistan.

The secretary of state also shared his U.S. government's concerns about the future of Pakistani government which the USA government "wants to be stable and peaceful". And numerous same issues they're struggling with inside of Pakistan are our issues. "Pakistan is critical to the long-term stability of the region".

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He emphasised that Pakistan and the USA shared a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large.

He informed the Secretary of State with regard to the strong public reaction in Pakistan to the pronouncement of US Administration's South Asia Policy - based on inadequate recognition of Pakistan's sterling contribution in the fight against terrorism. While officials have long questioned the role Pakistan has played in Afghanistan, the comments by Mattis are likely to cause concern in Islamabad and within the Pakistan military. "He added that future stability of Pakistan was an important element of the strategy", it added.

Inviting Secretary Tillerson to visit Islamabad to continue bilateral discussions, the foreign minister stressed that a broad-based and structured framework for dialogue would best serve the two countries' mutual interests.

"I have invited the Secretary to visit and he graciously accepted it and will be traveling to Pakistan later this month", Asif said adding that a high-level US delegation is also coming to asses our position on new US Afghan policy. The Foreign Minister is visiting Washington at Secretary Tillerson's invitation. Both the sides agreed to remain constructively engaged with a view to achieving the shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.

In a separate statement to media, Tillerson too, sound positive with his meeting with Pakistani counterpart.


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