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Pakistan asks US to ‘play its role’ in solving Kashmir issue

Pic Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Islamabad: Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump had their first bilateral meeting, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during his meet with a delegation of powerful American senators, urged the US to “play its role” in solving the Kashmir issue with India.

Sharif expressed his serious concern over human rights violations and brutal oppression on unarmed Kashmiris.

Senator John McCain, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee led the US delegation.
The five-member delegation yesterday had urged India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue, Dawn newspaper reported.

Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua and other senior officials were present in the meeting.

Sharif said Pakistan-US strategic partnership was essential to deal with the various challenges confronting the region and beyond.

While, Senator McCain agreed that continued cooperation between the US and Pakistan was required to secure peace and stability in the region, Pakistani prime minister apprised the senators about his government’s efforts to combat terrorism and the “marked improvement” in Pakistan’s security situation.

Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to support all efforts aimed at lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and said concerted efforts were needed for a political settlement under an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process, the statement said.

He said a strong partnership between the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan was a prerequisite for sustainable peace and stressed on the importance of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) mechanism to facilitate Afghan reconciliation.

According to the Pakistan Army spokesman, the delegation and Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa visited South Waziristan tribal district.

The senators were taken for an aerial survey of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (also called tribal region) and saw the infrastructure projects built with US assistance.

In December 2016, the US embassy had signed a pact to provide more than Rs 8.5 billion for a dam project in North Waziristan. Also the US has helped Pakistan with an irrigation project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa