Visit of the US Senators to Pakistan - 02-03 July 2017
(2017-07-02) A five member US Senate delegation led by Senator John McCain, Chairman Senate Armed Services Committee called on the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, on Sunday 2 July 2017. Other members of the delegation included Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator David Perdue and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua was also present in the meeting.
Welcoming the US Senators, the Adviser reiterated the importance of regular high level contacts and particularly appreciated Senators McCain, Graham and Whitehouse for their continued engagement and regular visits to Pakistan to promote understanding and cooperation between the two countries. The Adviser underscored the significance of the longstanding cooperation between the two countries and the need to make this partnership diverse and multidimensional. Pakistan and US strategic partnership, he said, was critical to achieve peace and stability in the region and beyond.
Senator McCain, thanking the Adviser on behalf of the delegation, appreciated the contributions and sacrifices made by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. He said that continued engagement with Pakistan, a close friend and ally of the US, was important. The Senators also praised the economic turnaround, as manifested by investors interest and confidence in Pakistan.They agreed with the need for the US and Pakistan to forge closer cooperation in confronting the peace and security challenges in the region and beyond.
Mr. Sartaj Aziz also apprised the US Senate delegation, comprising of very prominent Senators from both Democratic and Republican parties, about Pakistan's success in combating terrorism through Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fassad and informed thatthe terrorist networks have been dismantled, their sanctuaries eliminated under the overarching National Action Plan. The dividend of these policies, he stressed was empirically verifiable.
The Adviser said that Pakistan remained committed to support efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Adviser noted that QCG process remains a credible and effective vehicle to facilitate reconciliation and restore peace, stability and economic prosperity in Afghanistan. Pakistan looked forward to constructive engagement with the United States on all efforts and initiatives that would lead to a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan was also ready to strengthen and deepen its partnership with the US to counter the new and emerging terrorism threats including the expanding footprint of DAESH in the region.
The Adviser also raised concern over the gross human rights violations by the Indian security forces in Kashmir and international community's silence over the reign of terror unleashed by India on innocent and unarmed Kashmiris. The Adviser stressed that Pakistan firmly believed in the legitimacy of the Kashmir cause and the peaceful struggle of the Kashmiri people to claim the right to self determination promised to them by the international community through the UN Security Council resolutions.
02 July 2017