ISLAMABAD - The United States and Pakistan on Monday discussed host of issues concerning bilateral ties, regional security and agenda of the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama.
According to the press statements issued by the Foreign Office and the US Embassy, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), Ambassador James F Dobbins, met with Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Interior Minister Chuadhry Nisar Ali Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.
Ambassador Dobbins and Sartaj Aziz discussed matters regarding Pakistan-US relations and the situation in the region. A Foreign Office release said the two sides focused on preparations for the prime minister’s visit to Washington later this month. Views were also exchanged on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process as well as the issues related to Afghanistan post-2014. US Ambassador Richard Olson accompanied Dobbins.
In his separate meeting with Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar Ali Khan, matters of mutual interest, including the geo-political situation of the region, came under discussion. Expressing satisfaction over the current Pak-US relations, the federal minister said Pakistan intends to further strengthen its relations with the US based on transparency, mutual interest and understanding.
The meeting discussed the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the US. Both the sides felt that this visit was of prime significance and would set the trends for future relations between the two countries.
The issue of cross-border militancy on both the sides of the border was also discussed at the meeting and it was agreed that this issue would be addressed on collaborative basis. The minister stressed that it was essential to have peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan and both the countries would have to go beyond the irritants to build good relations.
The minister discussed with the US special representative the latest developments on the peace initiatives carried out by Pakistan in the light of the resolution passed by the All Parties Conference (APC) and the situation arising in the region before and after December 2014.
The issues relating to the Strategic Dialogue in context of counterterrorism were also discussed. Nisar underlined the importance of institutional cooperation between the two countries in capacity building of its law-enforcing agencies.
The US special representative said Pakistan could benefit from the institutional cooperation between the two countries on security-related issues. He also appreciated the sincere efforts of the government for establishing lasting peace in the region. He emphasised the importance of close cooperation between the two countries.
Though no details were available about Ambassador Dobbins’ meeting with General Kayani, sources said apart from other issues of mutual interest, cross-border infiltration and attacks from Afghanistan were discussed at length.
Kayani, the sources said, reminded the US special envoy of Pakistan’s request for arrest and extradition of TTP Swat Commander Maulvi Fazalullah who along with his associates is believed to be using sanctuaries in Afghanistan’s Kunur and Nuristan provinces.