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Pakistan have produced results fighting militants: Shahid Khaqan

25 October, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday reconfirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the ‘war on terror’ saying his country had ‘produced results’ fighting the militants, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pressed Islamabad to increase its efforts to eradicate terrorists operating within the country.

“We are committed in the war against terror,” Abbasi told Tillerson, as the two men sat facing each other on a long table. “We have produced results. And we are looking forward to moving ahead with the US and building a tremendous relationship,” added Abbasi, who sat next to army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“The US can rest assured that we are strategic partners in the war against terror and that today Pakistan is fighting the largest war in the world against terror,” Abbasi said. “We appreciate the understandings that we agreed and we appreciate the engagement.”

A US Embassy statement issued after the meeting said that Secretary Tillerson discussed continued bilateral cooperation and partnership, expanding economic ties between the United States and Pakistan as well as Islamabad’s ‘critical role’ in the region. “The secretary reiterated President Trump’s message that Pakistan must increase its efforts to eradicate militants and terrorists operating within the country. To address those concerns, the secretary outlined the United States’ new South Asia strategy and the vital role that Pakistan can play in working with the United States and others to facilitate a peace process in Afghanistan that can bring stability and security to the region,” the statement read.

“The secretary noted that Pakistan and the United States share common interests in establishing a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, defeating ISIS in South Asia, and eliminating terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States.” It added.

“In all meetings with Pakistan’s leaders, the secretary expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. The secretary also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity,” it concluded.

During a short part of the meeting available to media, Tillerson told the Pakistani delegation that the nuclear-armed nation was an important US ally in the region.

“(Pakistan is) important regionally to our joint goals of providing peace and security to the region and providing opportunity for greater economic relationship as well,” he said.

President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy aide was quietly greeted by a mid-level Foreign Office official at the military airport in Rawalpindi – a welcome devoid of the pomp that usually marks high-level visits.

He was then driven in a convoy of Land Cruisers amid tight security to the US Embassy in the Diplomatic Enclave, before the scheduled meetings.

The meeting was held in the federal capital where attendees also included Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and DG ISI, among others.

Prime Minister Abbasi underlined the importance of high level engagements between the two countries and expressed satisfaction on the progress made during these interactions in recent months, a statement issued by Islamabad after the meeting read. “Prime Minister informed the visiting delegation of the significant strides Pakistan had made in improving the overall security and economic environment of the country resulting in significantly improved business and investment opportunities available to foreign businesses and investors,” it said.

“Talks covered in detail all aspects of bilateral relations, the regional situation as well as the evolving international environment. Pakistan delegation outlined the government’s policy of a peaceful neighbourhood and steps taken to promote cooperation and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” the statement read.

“The US delegation was informed that progress in promoting peace and stability in the region was linked to the resolution of Kashmir dispute. The ongoing grave violations of human rights by the Indian occupation forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir were highlighted during the meeting,” the statement said.

“The delegation was apprised of the tremendous sacrifices made by Pakistani nation including security forces and law enforcement agencies in the war against terror.

The fact that Pakistani security forces have successfully carried out the largest counterterrorism operation was detailed along with Pakistan’s sustained commitment and interest in supporting peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as the broader region. The delegation was also informed of the ongoing efforts on securing the Pak-Afghan border out of national resources,” the statement added.

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