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FM Hina apprises US senators of anti-terrorism efforts

20 September, 2012

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LAHORE: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday met members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and apprised them of the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices Pakistan has made to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and build a peaceful, stable South and Central Asia.

Ambassador Sherry Rehman accompanied the foreign minister during the meeting in Capitol Hill. Senators Dianne Feinstein, Saxby Chambliss, Richard Burr, Dan Coats, Bill Nelson, and James Risch attended the meeting from the US side.

Khar told senators that Pakistan attached great importance to its relationship with the US and the people of Pakistan wanted their contributions and sacrifices in fighting terrorism recognised and appreciated. She said it was important that Pakistan's priorities, concerns and constraints were better understood by the US. She said that she was in Washington to have in-depth discussions on how best to deal with the challenges in the bilateral relationship and to build on the recent positive momentum in strengthening the special relationship between Pakistan and the US.

The foreign minister informed members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee that Pakistan aims to have a genuine dialogue with the US on Afghanistan. She reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to use the trilateral mechanism to promote an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. Instability in Afghanistan, she said, threatens Pakistan more than any other nation on earth.

She reiterated that Pakistan is a critical part of the solution to the Afghan dilemma, and said that the notion that Pakistan is part of the problem is wrong and must be corrected. She also reiterated that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is central to both the short- and long-term interests of Pakistan.

Khar responded to a number of questions raised by her interlocutors on regional security, counterterrorism efforts, and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The meeting lasted for approximately one hour. Khar is scheduled to hold more meetings with important US legislators, members of the Obama administration, leaders of Washington's think tank community and critical elements of the US electronic and print press during her stay in Washington.

End.

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