Pakistan said today that it has briefed the US about the ‘plight’ of Kashmiris and the status of its relations with India as America’s National Security Adviser held talks with top officials here during a visit, the first by a top Trump aide to this country. US National Security Adviser (NSA) H R McMaster, who arrived here earlier in the day, held talks with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
Aziz gave a detailed briefing on the policies being pursued by the Pakistan government that have resulted in improved security environment and the “economic turnaround” in Pakistan, the Foreign Office here said in a statement. The Pakistani side also shared its perspective on the “plight of Kashmiris” in India and the status of relations with New Delhi, the statement said.
Aziz reiterated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood and commitment to dialogue and engagement while also apprising the visiting US delegation of the steps taken by Pakistan to reach out to both India and Afghanistan, it said. On terrorism, Aziz noted that “impressive gains” had been made in eliminating terrorists and Pakistan remained determined to continue this fight as part of the National Action Plan until the scourge of terrorism is completely eliminated from its soil, the Foreign Office said.
He said that Pakistan was “determined to maintain the existing momentum” on both the security and economic fronts to lead the people of Pakistan towards a prosperous and secure future, it said. Conveying Pakistan’s concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Aziz reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to working with the international community to support efforts for peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country.
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He also highlighted the importance of effective border management as part of the actions required to achieve sustainable peace in the region. On his part, McMaster thanked Aziz and acknowledged Pakistan’s “sacrifices” in combating extremism and terrorism, the statement said. The US NSA also renewed the commitment of the new Trump administration to work closely with Pakistan in strengthening mutually beneficial relations and also work towards the shared objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
McMaster’s visit to Pakistan marks the first visit by any senior official of the Donald Trump administration to Pakistan. Yesterday, McMaster visited Afghanistan. In his meeting with Aziz, McMaster was accompanied by US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale, Acting US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Laurel Miller, Senior Director for South Asia Lisa Curtis and Director Pakistan in the National Security Council Jay Wise. Aziz was accompanied by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.