ISLAMABAD - US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert on Tuesday left for America after holding key meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and top military officials in Islamabad and Karachi.
During the meetings, the US side emphasised that Pakistan’s determined effort was necessary to root out terrorism and militancy in its own territory for creating a stable environment to promote economic growth and prosperity, said a statement released by US Embassy in Islamabad.
The statement said that as since 2002, Pakistan has received more than $16 billion of security assistance and reimbursements. It said that both the sides reaffirmed the importance of the US-Pakistani security relationship for regional stability, and agreed to continue working together in order to build a stronger partnership to achieve common objectives.
According to the statements released by Pakistani and US side, Admiral Greenert concluded his visit with discussions on a wide range of common security issues with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila and other senior military officials.
During meeting with Gen Raheel Sharif, both sides discussed regional security and other areas of further cooperation. The souvenirs were exchanged between the two dignitaries on the occasion.
In meeting with Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, both the dignitaries remained together for some time and discussed matters of professional interest.
Later, the visiting dignitary called on Chief of the Naval Staff in his office, where he held detailed discussion on professional matters.
While in Karachi, Admiral Greenert paid respect to Quaid-e-Azam at the Founder’s Tomb, met with soldiers at Pakistan Naval Station Rahbar and visited the Navy Museum. He also met with Commander of Coastal Areas Rear Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini and Commander of the Pakistani Fleet, Vice Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Siddique.
According to the statement released by US Embassy, the American assistance continues to help build the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism capabilities of Pakistan’s security forces, which are critical to countering violence in the western border regions.
US LEGISLATORS HOLD TALKS WITH FOREIGN, DEFENCE SECRETARIES
A four-member bipartisan delegation of the US House of Representative Tuesday met with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and discussed bilateral relations.
The Foreign Secretary stressed the importance Pakistan attaches to stronger Pakistan-US cooperation. He noted the improvement in bilateral relations especially since the visit of the prime minister to Washington last year.
During the meeting, Pakistan-US bilateral relations as well as the regional situation were discussed. The Foreign secretary highlighted the government’s focus on pursuing the goal of economic prosperity for the people of Pakistan. Foreign secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to promote relations with its neighbours for regional security and prosperity.
The US visiting Congress team acknowledged the importance of Pakistan-US relationship. They appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for countering terrorism and its role in the promotion of regional peace and prosperity, especially in the backdrop of US forces drawdown from Afghanistan. The delegation was led by Representative Martha Roby and included Representative Susan Davis, Representative Renee Ellmers and Representative Cheri Bustos. The US legislators are members of the armed services, energy and agriculture committees. US Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Williams also attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the US delegation also called on Secretary Defence Lt-Gen (r) Asif Yasin Malik at the Ministry of Defence. Overall defence relations between Pakistan and United States came under discussion. Both sides realised that the base of relationship was founded on respecting each others’ perspectives. Both sides agreed to allow space to each other to take decisions in line with mutual as well as national interests. Secretary defence expressed the hope that Pakistan-US bilateral relations will continue to evolve on principles of mutual respect and shared common interests.
Secretary Defence gave a comprehensive briefing to the visiting delegation on regional security issues particularly Post-2014 Afghanistan. He also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to continue its support on global efforts for a lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The visiting delegation leader acknowledged the sacrifice of Pakistan Armed Forces and its people during the course of War on Terror. She also highlighted the positive role Pakistan had played towards peaceful and stable Afghanistan and the region while ensuring continued US support in the field of defence.