The Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz delivered a keynote address today at the Atlantic Council, a prestigious U.S. think tank in Washington DC. Mr. Aziz was welcomed by Mr. Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Atlantic Council and Mr. Shuja Nawaz, Director South Asia Center at Atlantic Council.
In his remarks, the Adviser dealt in detail with Pakistan’s vision for regional peace and prosperity. He said that economic development, internal security and improvement in relations with neighbors, especially Afghanistan and India were the main priorities underpinning this vision.
On the internal security situation in Pakistan, the Adviser reaffirmed the Government’s resolve to take this challenge head-on by working on multiple fronts. He said that the government will announce a comprehensive counter-terrorism policy soon.
On Afghanistan, the Adviser reiterated the Government’s firm commitment to facilitate an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process to restore peace and stability in that country. He also highlighted some of the steps taken by the government that had resulted in improvement in ties with Afghanistan. On India, the Adviser expressed the hope that it will reciprocate Pakistan’s sincerity by agreeing to start a comprehensive, sustained and meaningful dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Adviser said that by implementing the above vision, the Government hoped to create an enabling atmosphere for Pakistan to take benefit of the immense economic and commercial opportunities in its neighborhood.
The Adviser also briefly touched on the Pakistan-U.S. relations that have seen a lot of improvement in the last seven months. He reaffirmed his belief that the revived Strategic Dialogue Process provides the best framework to move forward in a structured manner towards a broad based and comprehensive partnership that will benefit the entire region.
The event was attended by a wide cross section of Washington DC based think tank community, academia, U.S. officials, media representatives and notable Pakistani-Americans.
January 28, 2014