WASHINGTON - The United States reaffirmed its support to building a comprehensive partnership with Pakistan, the White House said Wednesday, after a meeting between national security advisors of the two countries.
“The United States will continue to work with Islamabad to advance development, promote security, and help create lasting peace and prosperity for all Pakistanis,” a statement on National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s White House meeting with Pakistani National Security and Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz said.
“During the meeting, they reaffirmed both countries’ commitment to strengthening the Pak-US relationship and advancing shared interests in a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan,” the White House press secretary said. They discussed ways to increase the effectiveness of counterterrorism cooperation, and reiterated the importance of combating extremism and promoting peace and stability throughout the region.
The top advisors also noted the importance of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, where the US and Nato forces are moving towards a drawdown in a major security transition to be completed by the end of the current year. “They also reiterated their support for an Afghan-led peace process and acknowledged the importance of advancing Afghan peace and reconciliation,” the statement added. “They discussed ways to deepen and enhance the Pak-US partnership based on the common recognition that this partnership is vital to regional and international security and discussed their countries’ shared dedication to nuclear security.” Earlier, Sartaj Aziz said he saw Pakistan and the United States forging a broad-based partnership, but emphasised the need to address the issue of drone strikes against suspected militants in the tribal areas.
“We do have problems with drone strikes because we think they have become counterproductive, leading to collateral damage, and it creates more problems,” Aziz said in a speech at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies on Tuesday afternoon.
“Despite some of the irritants, Pakistan and the United States are well on their way to a broad-based partnership on the basis of shared values, mutual interest and common perceptions,” he said, adding that the fact the bilateral relations were back on a positive trajectory after the 2011 setbacks reflects the inherent resilience of the relationship.