Pakistan urges US to give due importance to its security concerns

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has urged the United States to give due importance to its security concerns and not look at it from specific lenses of Afghanistan and terrorism.

In his opening remarks on resumption of strategic dialogue in Washington‚ the advisor to the prime minister on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan’s security concerns were not taken into account in early 1990s after the Soviet defeat with active support of Islamabad and after the 9/11 incident.

The advisor said that the United States should also address Pakistan’s concerns about India and help resolve the long standing Kashmir dispute to normalize relations between the two countries.

Aziz underscored the need for building mutual trust between Pakistan and the United States at all levels to foster enduring bilateral relations.

The premier’s advisor said that there should be a smooth transition in Afghanistan after the NATO drawdown and the past mistake must not be repeated. He said that Pakistan would continue to provide every help in facilitating peace and stability in Afghanistan through a comprehensive reconciliation process.

US Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed US commitment to a long term relationship with Islamabad and expressed Washington’s support for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s policies for economic turnaround in the country.

Kerry said that the United States wants to deepen and strengthen strategic cooperation with Pakistan across a wide spectrum of areas of common interest including economic development and regional security.

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