WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the United States have reaffirmed their commitment to further advance bilateral partnership through the Strategic Dialogue. Meanwhile the United Stated would provide assistance to Pakistan in fields of energy, defence and anti-terrorism. Meanwhile Advisor to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that the US coalition support fund for Pakistan would continue after 2014, adding that the long term strategic interests of both countries are common. He said still the government had not made any decision regarding military operation in North Waziristan Agency, adding that this matter was not discussed with the US authorities.
A joint statement issued in Washington after the strategic dialogues between Pakistan and US says Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz‚ US Secretary of State John Kerry‚ and their respective delegations had constructive talks on security‚ strategic stability‚ and Pakistan’s intensified efforts to combat terrorism.
The two sides expressed their conviction that an enduring partnership is vital to regional and international security.
They reaffirmed the importance of the Pak-US Strategic Dialogue and reviewed the progress of the five working groups.
They also underscored the importance of intensifying efforts to facilitate regional energy connectivity and continuing to upgrade Pakistan’s transmission infrastructure.
Both sides expressed support for cooperation in expanding power generation capacity‚ promoting the efficient use of energy resources‚ fostering development of Pakistan’s gas resources‚ increasing utilization of hydroelectric and renewable resources; and continuing reforms in the energy sector to ensure its financial sustainability and attract private sector investment.
The two sides also recognized their shared interest in Pakistan’s economic growth‚ increased trade‚ regional stability‚ and mutually determined measures to counter extremism and terrorism.
Secretary Kerry expressed confidence in Pakistan’s commitment and dedication to nuclear security and appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts to improve its strategic trade controls. He also recognized that Pakistan is fully engaged with the international community on nuclear safety and security issues.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to expanding bilateral trade and business links. They welcomed the upcoming United States-Pakistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting in March 2014 in Washington.
Kerry underscored the US commitment to supporting private sector-led growth in Pakistan and welcomed the proposal by Sartaj Aziz to regularly convene a Joint Business and Investment Forum‚ involving the private sector.
The two sides renewed their common resolve to promote peace‚ stability‚ and transparency throughout the region and eliminate the threats posed by extremism and terrorism. Secretary Kerry expressed appreciation for the steps taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Government of Pakistan to combat terrorism.
The US Secretary of State underscored US support for private sector-led growth in Pakistan and welcomed Sartaj Aziz’s proposal to regularly convene the Joint Business and Investment Forum‚ involving the private sector.
He also expressed confidence in Pakistan’s commitment to nuclear security and praised its efforts to improve its strategic trade controls.
He appreciated the steps taken by Pakistan and India to improve their relations.
The United States also welcomed Prime Minister Sharif’s vision for a peaceful neighborhood and efforts for the economic uplift of the people of the region‚ including steps taken by Pakistan and India to improve their relations.
Both sides also reaffirmed that Afghan-led peace and reconciliation is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability of Afghanistan and the region. They noted Pakistan’s important role in supporting Afghan-led reconciliation‚ and Secretary Kerry expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s concrete efforts in this regard.
While addressing the media persons after the dialogues Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan did not want proxy war in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US and NATO forces, adding that no other country should interfere in the matters of Afghanistan. He said that the US should address the grievances of Pakistan in this regard. He said that the Afghans should deicide that no third country should interfere in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the allied forces, adding that the presence of the allied forces in Afghanistan is necessary. He said that the government has not made any decision regarding holding dialogues with Taliban.