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Pak-US defence ties critical for security‚ stability in region: Sartaj

30 January, 2014

WASHINGTON: Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has emphasized that a forward looking‚ broad-based and enduring defence partnership between Pakistan and the United States is critical for security and stability in the region.

During a meeting with US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington‚ Sartaj Aziz identified key priorities for strengthening the defence partnership in future.

He said that positive momentum in defence exchanges over the last one year has helped both sides make significant progress in a number of areas.

Both sides expressed the hope that a forthcoming Defence Resourcing Conference will help consolidate the existing framework of bilateral security cooperation.

The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff‚ General Martin Dempsey.

Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz has said that force would be used against all foreign terrorists and political parties would be taken into confidence in this regard.

Speaking at School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, Sartaj Aziz said action would be taken against those Taliban who did not respect constitution of Pakistan.

Aziz said that it was difficult to predict the future of Afghanistan, adding there was no chance of civil war in Afghanistan, however, that there was extremism and it could be brought under control. He said Pakistan wanted large-scale reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Aziz said Afghan Taliban's coming into power through force will not be in the interest of Pakistan.

Commenting on drone strikes, the advisor said killing of innocent people in such strikes increases problems, adding that Pakistan wanted bilateral cooperation from US on drone issue.

End.

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