Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker along with the Ranking Member Senator Ben Cardin received the Prime Minister and his delegation at the Capitol Hill this afternoon. Several senior members of the Committee attended the meeting.
Prime Minister was joined by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Defence Minister, Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaz Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani.
Thanking the Committee for their consistent support to democracy, security cooperation and economic development in Pakistan, the Prime Minister briefed the members about his economic reforms agenda that led to reviving the economy and upgrading of Pakistan’s economic outlook in recent months. The Prime Minister also briefed the members on the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the Temporary Dislocated Persons (TDPs) back in their homes in FATA following the clearing of areas by the successful military operations.
Appreciating the provision of counter-terrorism assistance by the US Congress, Prime Minister informed that due to the successful operations of the Pakistani security forces, militants’ command and control infrastructure had been destroyed and ability of militants to plan or conduct any major attack had been significantly diminished. Responding to questions by members of the US Congress, the Prime Minister remarked that operation Zarb-e-Azb had achieved its initial targets and entered a decisive phase.
Outlining his vision of a peaceful neighbourhood, Prime Minister reiterated his government’s commitment to remain engaged with the Afghan leadership to enhance mutual coordination in dealing with the common challenges of terrorism and promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Prime Minister also briefed members of the Congress about his recent peace initiative towards India announced in the UN General Assembly session. Members noted the Prime Minister’s proposal that given India’s resistance to bilaterally resolve outstanding issues including Kashmir, it would be imperative to have the third party intervention for which the United States would be most relevant.
Members of the US Congress emphasized that Pakistan was an important country in the region and the US looked forward to engaging with Pakistan to advance the goals of peace and stability in the region. Members also assured the Prime Minister of the continued support by the US Congress in complimenting Pakistan’s efforts to stimulate people centered growth and eliminating militancy and extremism from the region.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is among the important standing Committees of the US Congress with the mandate to oversee the US foreign policy.
October 21, 2015