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DG ISI meets US intelligence officials ahead of Nawaz's Washington trip

Published Oct 18, 2015 03:01pm


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ISLAMABAD: Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar, during his visit to Washington, has held meetings with top US intelligence officials discussing strategic issues and counter-terrorism.

The DG ISI, upon his return Sunday evening, will present a report to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and brief the premier regarding details of his discussions with US officials. Nawaz is expected to depart for the US following the briefing.

PM Nawaz, who was scheduled to leave for London Sunday en-route Washington on his second state visit to the USA, has delayed his visit by a day, well-placed sources told DawnNews.

Read: Sharif shortens visit to US

Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhary left for Washington early on Sunday ahead of Nawaz in order to hold preparatory meetings with senior US officials.

Speaking to BBC Urdu on Saturday, Sartaj Aziz said the purpose of Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington is discussion of nuclear safety, not compromising on the extent of Pakistan's defence capabilities.

"Our main priority is to protect national interest and security, and we will not compromise on this," he said.

The National Security Advisor's statement follows international media reports which claim the US is ready to help Pakistan join the Nuclear Suppliers Group if it accepts certain restrictions on its nuclear programme.

The White House later said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and US President Barack Obama are not going to sign a nuclear deal next week but they will discuss the nuclear issue in their meeting.

Aziz said core issues to be discussed during the upcoming talks with the US include Pak-India relations, restoration of peace in Afghanistan and trade and investment opportunities.

Also read: Sharif discusses US trip agenda with top aides

Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has expressed hope that Nawaz's upcoming visit will strengthen bilateral ties with the US, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said discussions with US officials regarding trade, economy, investment and energy are on the agenda, adding that Pakistan will attempt to gain access to US markets and urge American firms to invest in Pakistan.

Fatemi also said that Pakistan's nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

Also read: US should refrain from fanning S. Asian instability: Sartaj

Pakistan has been asking the United States for a civilian nuclear deal since 2008 and has also been building its case for admission into the NSG.

In this regard, Pakistan lately updated its export control list for sensitive technologies and goods to make it compatible with international regimes.

The move was praised by the US. But the strings attached to President Obama’s offer are unlikely to be acceptable to Pakistan.

Besides the discussion on the US proposal for Pakistan’s nuclear mainstreaming, Mr Sharif would be telling President Obama about what Pakistan is doing to help restart the reconciliation process that stalled after disclosure about Mullah Omar’s death, and also about what his government was doing to fight terrorism at home.

“Next week, I will host Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan, and I will continue to urge all parties in the region to press the Taliban to return to peace talks and to do their part in pursuit of the peace that Afghans deserve,” President Obama said on Thursday.


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Comments (15) Closed

Wali Oct 18, 2015 04:19pm

A customary stop-over of the PM in London enroute - can possibly not be at the State's expense!

Sandhu Oct 18, 2015 04:24pm

Gen. Rizwan Akhter is one of the finest Lt. General Pakistan army has. He straight a way put ISI out of political issues and just focussing on the original issues like security. Kudos to him being the chief of one of the brilliant intelligence service ISI.

Akram Oct 18, 2015 04:27pm

The most interesting thing to come out of this, is the US articulating its desire that it wants to halt Pakistan's growing military capabilities. The fact that they are willing to dangle this carrot in order to achieve this is also shows how eager they are to do this.

I believe that the deal is not good enough for, I am not sure the accepting of Pakistan into NSG is worth the cost.

Usman Oct 18, 2015 04:31pm

general raheel sharif,rizwan akhtar,Asim bajwa the men changing Pakistan !

Taimoor Khan Oct 18, 2015 04:39pm

Its is good the ISI chief was there to "remove" any American high hopes against Pakistan compromising on its military strategic programs. Its quite telling that PM first shortened his trip and now delayed till Monday. By doing so, a message is send to the Americans. For the first time, in many decades, its American necessity to have Pakistan on its side, not other way round. With Putin's Russia getting ever assertive on global affairs, challenging American sole super power status, not only that, Russia is making a lot of strides in improving its relations with Pakistan. China relationship with Pakistan is for all to see. America must understand, that it was Pakistan which was the fulcrum for America to attain the sole super power status. It is Pakistan which can undo it as well.

khanm Oct 18, 2015 04:54pm

You can't come forward against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk. Good luck

Nazem Oct 18, 2015 05:37pm

first time hearing such a praise. .good luck to all three of you

Khalid sheikh Oct 18, 2015 06:05pm

I love the ISI of today.Doing a good job of getting Pakistan out of the Mess created by the corrupt Political parties and Terrorism.

Fakhir Oct 18, 2015 11:05pm

The big question is, "do we really want/need to be a part of the nuclear suppliers group". Pakistan is self sufficient in meeting her nuclear material needs. So why entangle yourself in this Web.

Bravo Oct 18, 2015 11:23pm

Everything OK,why is NS so shaky,sometimes changing it's itinerary,sometimes yes,sometimes no,shortening visit,what's the problem.If he's nervous,just cancel or postpone.If OK then go firmly,that's it.

Syed Shere Oct 19, 2015 12:51am

@Taimoor Khan : "it is Pakistan which can un-do it as well" Well put it sir.

Marcuss james Oct 19, 2015 01:20am

@Taimoor Khan dot on...excellent analysis

KeyPoints Oct 19, 2015 03:55am

@Akram Yes, your comments are worthy of reading it twice. Makes you wonder (1) Why the other party is so eager for the deal? (2) Why other party wants to put restrictions on pakistani programs? While, all the pakistani nation is saying " Don't sign it & don't compromise on it, there is no way PM will even think of it. It will be interesting what kind of debate takes place in the national assembly, should there be an offer of the table?

khawaja Oct 19, 2015 03:57am

@Bravo because the man (ns) does not understand the international politics. It is not for ignorant fellows like him.

Nangyal Oct 19, 2015 05:49am

I guess the US wants to strike a with the DG and then get PM come over to stamp and sign it.