Pakistan is looking forward to working closely with the new US administration over regional security and to help resolve the Kashmir dispute, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi has said.
He made the remarks in Washington while interacting with the current US administration and as part of reaching out to officials likely to join the incoming Trump administration.
In an interview with NBC News this week, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Trump intended to be fully engage with both Pakistan and India to promote regional peace. He also suggested that the president-elect could play a role in resolving longstanding international disputes, such as Kashmir.
Talking to the US press, Fatemi emphasised that Pakistan wanted relations between the two countries to further strengthen.
The special assistant stressed that Pakistan could play a significant role in promoting peace and stability not just in Afghanistan but the entire region. Pakistan has confluence of interests with the US and there is a solid track record of both working together over seven decades, he said.
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Fatemi also apprised journalists of Pakistan's unflinching commitment to eradicating terrorism. Pakistan has lost about 5,000 soldiers in the counter-terrorism campaign and deployed more than 200,000 troops in its northern areas and along the Pak-Afghan border, he said.
The special assistant also underlined the need for a sustained dialogue process between Pakistan and India to resolve their long-standing differences including that of Kashmir.
Fatemi also spoke about the widespread and homegrown uprising in Indian-held Kashmir which the Indian government has been trying to suppress using brute force.
Over 16,000 Kashmiris have been injured and approximately 600 blinded by using pellet guns. In addition, the number of ceasefire violations have increased during recent months, he said adding that these violations had targeted innocent civilians, which amount to a war crime.
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Fatemi emphasised that Pakistan had made remarkable progress over the last three years. He highlighted that Pakistan was an important democratic country in South Asia that had a vital stake in the region, its stability and economic development.