Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi hosted the senior US Senator Lindsey Graham over a luncheon meeting at the Foreign Office today. Senator Graham is Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and senior member of Armed Services, Appropriations and Budget Committees.
Senator Graham is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Minister, which he had extended during his visit to Washington in October last year.
Welcoming Senator Graham, Foreign Minister apprised him of Government’s priorities on the external and internal fronts. He highlighted that the Government of Prime Minister Imran had come to power to implement extensive economic reforms, improve governance and bring socio-economic development for the people of Pakistan. In order to realize this people friendly agenda, a proactive foreign policy is being pursued which, inter alia, seeks to develop a peaceful neighbourhood conducive for stability and prosperity of the entire region.
Foreign Minister informed Senator Graham about Pakistan’s efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan. He said that peace and stability in Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest as well as propitious for the progress of South Asia region. He also said that Pakistan’s continued overtures to engage India to discuss all outstanding issues including the core Dispute of Jammu and Kashmir were also aimed towards realization of an enduring peace in the region.
Reiterating the need for a positive engagement with the Capitol Hill, Foreign Minister underscored for broadening the discussions to deepen cooperation on bilateral trade, investment and people to people contacts. He said that Pakistan would welcome visits by US Senators and Congressmen to have first hand information about today’s Pakistan.
Thanking the Foreign Minister for hosting him, Senator Graham conveyed the well wishes of the US leadership to the Government and people of Pakistan. He said that US was appreciative of Pakistan’s sincere efforts to facilitate the Afghan reconciliation process which was a priority of the Trump Administration. He underlined the long term US commitment to the region.
Senator Graham maintained that in line with the historic linkages between the two countries underpinned by close people to people contacts, Pakistan would remain an important country for the United States. He promised to campaign for strengthening bilateral trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan which would lay the foundation of strong, mutually beneficial and a sustaining relationship.
20 January 2019