Islamabad: Ambassador Marc Grossman, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
US Ambassador in Islamabad Mr. Cameron P. Munter, Rear Admiral Philip Davidson, Senior military advisor to ambassador Grossman and other senior officials of the US embassy.
Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar , Minister for Defence, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Federal Minister for Finance, , Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator A. Rehman Malik, Federal Minister for Interior, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Mr. Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary and Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar also attended the meeting.
Briefing the media about the meeting, Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that matters relating to Pak-US bilateral relations, regional security situation, emerging situation in Afghanistan and the fight against militancy were discussed during the meeting.
The President said that Pakistan supports all efforts for regional peace, prosperity and connectivity, based on existing realities of the region. He said that the relations between the two countries must not be transactional but based on long term partnership and resting on the foundations of mutual respect and shared interests. In this context he said any public messaging that tended to undermine this bedrock of relationship shrank political space for the democratic government.
He stressed on following the clearly defined, well documented and mutually agreed terms of engagement between the two countries, which, the President said was necessary to avoid operational irritants that hamper the relationship.
The Spokesperson said that the President emphasized that a long-term, sustainable and multidimensional relationship with the United States should be based on mutual interest, trust and mutual respect.
The President called for exercising mutual restraints in public pronouncements that adversely impacted the bilateral relationship. He also emphasised the need to develop a cooperative and a joint roadmap to overcome the trust deficit.
The President said that no country has made greater contributions and sacrifices in fighting terrorism than Pakistan and added that the international community owed it to Pakistan and the region to acknowledge it and support Pakistan in its efforts.
The President said that Pakistan was committed to pursue fight against militants till its logical conclusion. He said that the enemies of peace will continue to sabotage peace process but we should not let the non-state actors hold hostage the governments in the region.
The President also emphasised on socio-economic development and imparting education to the youth of the militancy hit areas to permanently change the militant mindset and sought international community’s support and cooperation in this regard.
The President said that Pakistan, due to its geo-strategic location was a major stakeholder and regional player in promoting regional stability and peace. He said that Pakistan has abiding interest in the peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan and will continue to support every effort of international community in this regard.
He said that and any development in Afghanistan was directly impacting Pakistan. Pakistan supports Afghan-led and Afghan owned reconciliation process, he said.
The President said that Prof Rabbani was a friend of Pakistan and an honest and serious interlocutor and termed his assassination as an attempt to sabotage the peace and reconciliation process. He however, was surprised at the reaction in Kabul in the wake of Prof Rabbani’s assassination.
The President said that despite negative propaganda against Pakistan, we are committed to the regional peace and have decided to attend the forthcoming trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in Istanbul next month that was aimed at peace and stability in the region.
Mr. Grossman thanked the President for meeting and appreciated Pakistan’s struggle against militancy. He also assured US governments continued support for peace and stability in the region.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326