WASHINGTON:  Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has said that Pakistan is looking forward to work closely with the new US administration and want the bilateral relations to be further strengthened in future.

In a meeting with the media representatives of print and electronic media at Pakistani embassy on Monday, Fatemi further told the media that he is currently visiting US to have interaction with current US administration and also to reach out to the officials who are likely to join the new administration.

“Once President-elect Donald Trump assumes his office, Pakistan is looking forward to meaningful engagement with USA in further improving bilateral relations and playing its role in the context of regional and international issues,” he said.   

“Pakistan can play an instrumental role in promoting peace not only in Afghanistan but in the entire region,” he further said.

Fatemi stressed that Pakistan has lost more than approx. five thousand army men in a ruthless war against terrorism and has deputed more than 200,000 troops in its Northern Areas and along Pak-Afghan border. These troops are being used with full force along with the F-16s by Pakistan Air Force in eliminating terrorists’ networks and demolishing their hideouts.

Fatemi also pointed out that Pakistan and India need to resolve the long-standing issue of Kashmir between both the countries. He also highlighted that there is an indigenous, widespread and homegrown uprising in Indian Occupied Kashmir which Indian Govt is trying to suppress, through horrendous human rights violations.

“Over 16,000 Kashmiris have been injured and approx. 600 blinded by using special kind of guns aimed at damaging the eye sight of innocent Kashmiris,” he said. “In addition, the number of ceasefire violations have increased during recent months. These violations are targeted at innocent civilians which were not seen even during war.”

Tariq Fatemi said that Pakistan attended the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference in India for lasting peace in the region.

He said that Pakistan highly values Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process and said that Islamabad wants cordial relations with all countries in the region. He further said that Pakistan will continue to play its role for the lasting peace in Afghanistan.