ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday emphasised the need for a closer engagement with the United States for regional stability.
Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, at the weekly media briefing, said that Islamabad valued its ties with Washington, which had helped maintain regional peace and stability.
“We have achieved a lot by working together in the past. The logic for continued engagement and coordination is even more compelling in the context of shared geopolitical and security challenges,” he said while replying to a question about the strategy to engage the new US administration.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had soon after President Joe Biden’s inauguration last week congratulated him.
Mr Khan had in his tweet said that Pakistan was looking forward to working with President Biden for building a stronger bilateral partnership through trade and economic engagement; countering climate change; improving public health; combating corruption; and promoting peace in the region and beyond.
Urges world to take forceful action on India’s human rights violations in held Kashmir
“We look forward to working with the new administration to further strengthen our bilateral ties to make it multifaceted, sustainable and mutually beneficial and continue our partnership to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” the FO spokesman said.
He recalled that Pakistan and the US had cooperated for peace in Afghanistan.
Mr Chaudhri noted the progress made in the peace process during last one year, including signing of the US-Taliban Agreement, start of the intra-Afghan negotiations and agreement on the rules and procedures for the talks.
“We believe that the intra-Afghan negotiations have now advanced into an important phase where all the negotiating sides are required to show continued commitment and responsibility for moving forward towards reaching a comprehensive political settlement. It is important for Afghans to seize this historic opportunity,” he said.
The spokesman said Pakistan has been calling on all sides for taking measures for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire. He, however, pointed out that the progress in this regard was linked to forward movement in the intra-Afghan negotiations.
Regarding Kashmir, he said Pakistan would continue to sensitise the international community, including the US, about India’s continued defiance of the international law and consistent UN Security Council resolutions.
He urged the international community to take forceful action on India’s egregious human rights violations in the occupied territory and denial of right to self-determination of the people of Kashmir.
The spokesman refused to comment on the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Daniel Pearl case.
“We have seen the media reports. The detailed judgement of the court is still awaited. I am not in a position to offer any further comments,” he maintained.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2021