August 19, 2017

The US CENTCOM Commander General Joseph L. Votel, who is on a two day visit to Pakistan, called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi today. Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif,  Minister for Defence Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, National Security Adviser Lt. Gen.(R) Nasser Khan Janjua and Foreign Secretary Ms. Tehmina Janjua were present during the meeting.


The Prime Minister underscored that Pakistan had an important stake in peace and stability in Afghanistan as Pakistan has suffered the most due to conflict in that country. Pakistan is committed to its support for the Afghan people. This has been in evidence over decades including through the  presence of more than 5 million refugees for over three decades, the Prime Minister said. Pakistan continues to support the Afghan Government and society in many ways including scholarships to Afghan students and infrastructural development. The Prime Minister expressed concern about the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan which could threaten all its neighbours.


General Votel underscored the importance that the US attaches to Pakistan and Pakistan's importance for achieving the objective of peace and security in Afghanistan. He greatly appreciated the efforts being undertaken by Pakistan in fighting terrorism.


The Prime Minister also referred to the unacceptable situation of human rights in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir where a very large Indian military presence was used for the oppression of the innocent Kashmiri people, who only sought the realization of their right to self determination.


The Prime Minister agreed with General Votel on the importance of working closely to address issues of regional concerns. The Prime Minister also underscored that the South Asian review undertaken by the US would take into account Pakistan's efforts in fighting terrorism and its commitment to peace and security in Afghanistan.