Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has called on the U.S. to ensure a balanced approach in the South Asian Region particularly between Pakistan and India without any discrimination as that will greatly help build the US image and its perception amongst the people of Pakistan. The Prime Minister was talking to U.S. Congressional delegation led by Senator Robert Corker who called on him at the PM’s House here Saturday afternoon.
The Prime Minister recalled that at the advent of Obama administration, former President Bill Clinton was to be considered for appointment as special envoy to help resolve the festering Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, but the people of Pakistan were disappointed when this idea was dropped and Pakistan was instead clubbed with Afghanistan under the Af-Pak Policy.
The Prime Minister welcomed the positive messaging emanating from both sides since last week and emphasized that these should continue and go beyond Raymond Davis incident in order to build upon the strategic partnership as well as the trust and confidence between the two countries. The Prime Minister noted that the USA’s projects funded under the KLB assistance were now at the implementation stage and this momentum has to be accelerated. The KLB assistance, he added, should focus on the major projects having a positive impact on the lives and livelihood of the people of Pakistan. He also stressed that the good work done in the past three years should foster the bilateral ties in multi-faceted fields under the sectoral arrangements of strategic partnership. These strong ties, he said, must not be affected by any single incident and both US and Pakistan through their intensified and concerted efforts should aim for taking these important bilateral relations to a higher level.
While dilating upon Pakistan’s unmatched sacrifices in human and economic terms in the war against terror, the Prime Minister reiterated his government’s resolve to remain focused on the mutually shared objectives of defeating the terrorists and extremists as well as restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan. He hoped that the US side would also remains focused on these cherished objectives and would not allow any irritant to distract from them.
The US Senators termed Pakistan as one of the greatest nations which was playing enormous role in the frontline of war against terror. They acknowledged the great sacrifices which Pakistan had made despite its own difficulties for the safety and security of the world at large. They agreed with the Prime Minister that positive messaging would help establish trust and confidence between the two countries and no single incident should make the strong bilateral relations hostage. They appreciated Prime Minister’s role and personal investment in normalization of his country’s relations with its neighbours and his political acumen to build the national consensus in true spirit of democratic norms.
While agreeing with the Prime Minister on the imperative of socio-economic development which should have a direct effect on the people particularly in the backward areas, they assured him that US will remain committed to play its part in the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and will deliver on its pledges for economic and security assistance.
The US Congressional delegation included Senator Robert Corker, Senator Bernad Sanders, Senator Joseph Manchin III, Senator Christopher Coons. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mrs Hina Rabbani Khar, US Ambassador in Pakistan, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Secretaries Foreign Affairs, Defence and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.-ONLINE