ISLAMABAD US National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R McMaster paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday.
This is Gen. McMaster’s first visit to Pakistan as the US National Security Advisor and the first formal high level exchange between US and Pakistan under the new Administration.
The prime minister welcomed the visiting dignitary and apprised him of the efforts and initiatives of his Government, which have resulted in a marked improvement in the overall security situation, while also paving way for an economic turnaround in the country.
PM Sharif emphasized that the developments, which fully captured the spirit of “new Pakistan” were being widely acknowledged and appreciated by the international community. He said that across-the-board consensus was achieved by his Government to combat extremism and terrorism.
And structural reforms in the economy have laid the foundation of a moderate, progressive and democratic Islamic Republic that is ready to do business with the United States and the world at large. He said that as a longstanding friend and a partner, Pakistan was looking forward to forging a strong and mutually beneficial partnership with the US and to working with the new US Administration, to promote peace and security in the region and beyond.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to a peaceful neighbourhood and apprised the US NSA of the steps taken by Pakistan to reach out to both India and Afghanistan.
Sharing his concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the continuing impasse, the Prime Minister conveyed Pakistan’s readiness to work with the International community to explore ways in which the Afghan crisis can be resolved. On relations with India, the Prime Minister reiterated his firm conviction on sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement as the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan including the Kashmir dispute. He welcomed President Trump’s willingness to help India and Pakistan resolve their differences particularly on Kashmir and noted that this could go a long way in bringing sustainable peace, security and prosperity to the region.
General McMaster conveyed the greetings of President Trump and assured the Prime Minister that the new Administration was committed to strengthening bilateral relations and working with Pakistan, to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider South Asian region.
The visiting delegation included Mr. David Hale, Ambassador of USA, Mr. Laurel Miller, Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan & Pakistan, Ms Lisa Curtis, National Security Council Senior Director for South Asia and Mr. John Jay Wise, National Security Council Director for Pakistan.
The meeting was also attended by Mr Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance, Mr Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to PM, Mr. Tariq Fatemi, SAPM, Lt. General (R) Nasser Khan Janjua, NSA and other senior government officials.