THE HAGUE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that issues between India and Pakistan should be resolved and asked the US to play its role in normalising ties between the two countries.
Talking to media after his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the prime minister said that India was hesitating to resolve the Kashmir issue bilaterally. He said if India was not willing to include third force in resolving the Kashmir issue then the US would have to play its role in bringing the situation to normal in the region. The prime minister, who is in The Hague to participate in the Nuclear Summit, said that peace in Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan and the region.
He said Pakistan wanted to talk to Afghan Peace Council to maintain peace in the region, adding that the improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan should not be derailed. The prime minister termed the US policy of discontinuation of drone strikes in Pakistan appreciable and said it must be continued. Both the sides reaffirmed their desire to continue the strategic dialogue, covering a wide range of areas. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the two-day Nuclear Summit.
Talking about the mediation with the Taliban Nawaz said the government was holding talks with sincerity and the committee to hold talks on behalf of the government would visit North Waziristan tomorrow (Tuesday) where direct talks would take place with the Taliban leadership. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Kerry said his country has great confidence in Pakistan’s nuclear security and will continue to work with Pakistan in fighting terrorism. In brief remarks to the press he also assured cooperation to Pakistan to help meet its energy needs. John Kerry said the two countries were “deeply engaged” and said the two sides will focus on the issue of terrorism, counter-terrorism, global energy besides Afghanistan and the bilateral Pakistan-United States relations.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said there were a lot of challenges for his government that came into power nine months back, however measures were afoot to address these. He also mentioned his meeting with US President Barack Obama a few months ago in Washington DC and said the dialogue with the US will continue. John Kerry mentioned his meeting in Washington with Adviser to Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz recently and said he was looking forward to his meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar soon. Prime Minister Nawaz is accompanied by Special Assistant Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Both the leaders discussed bilateral relations and the scheduled withdrawal of ISAF forces from Afghanistan by the end of this year. Kerry told Prime Minister Nawaz that the United States will continue to work with Pakistan for the elimination of terrorism. He said the two countries were “deeply engaged”. “We have great confidence in Pakistan’s nuclear security,” Kerry told reporters. The secretary said the United States and Pakistan are working together to root out terrorism from the region.
He said US is also cooperating with Pakistan to curb to overcome its energy crisis as it wants a viable and prosperous Pakistani nation. Kerry said Pakistan-US working group on nuclear proliferation is working and strategic dialogue between the two countries are continuing. Nawaz Sharif termed the meeting positive and constructive. He said the government is trying to resolve all issues being faced by the country. He said both the countries have been reviewing the decisions taken in the meeting between him and President Obama. “There are a lot of challenges and we are meeting these challenges in Pakistan,” Nawaz said.
Prime Minister Nawaz met President Barrack Obama, Chinese President XI Jinping and Turkish President Abdullah Gul at the summit and discussed with them matters of bilateral relations and mutual interests. In his meeting with French President Francois Hollande, the prime minister said that friends of Pakistan must acknowledge its sacrifices in the “war on terror” in a solid manner. He said that Pakistan’s economy had suffered heavily and now it is the world that has to pay back in terms of enhanced cooperation in trade and economy. He said that Pakistan attaches special importance to its relations with France and hopes that these relations will continue to improve in all fields of cooperation in the future.
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