Pak-US ties to be based on mutual interest, respect: Zardari

Published: October 13, 2011
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Zardari said Pakistan supports all efforts for regional peace, prosperity and connectivity, based on existing realities of the region. PHOTO: NNI

Zardari said Pakistan supports all efforts for regional peace, prosperity and connectivity, based on existing realities of the region. PHOTO: NNI

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said relations between Pakistan and United States must not be transactional, and stressed for a long-term partnership based on mutual respect and shared interests.

He was talking to Marc Grossman, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Briefing the media about the meeting, spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that matters relating to Pak-US bilateral relations, regional security situation, emerging situation in Afghanistan and the fight against militancy were discussed during the meeting.

Zardari said Pakistan supports all efforts for regional peace, prosperity and connectivity, based on existing realities of the region.

He stressed on following the clearly defined, well-documented and mutually agreed terms of engagement between the two countries, which he said was necessary to avoid operational irritants that hamper the relationship.

Babar said the president emphasized that a long-term, sustainable and multi-dimensional relationship with the US should be based on mutual interest, trust and respect.

Zardari called for exercising mutual restraints in public pronouncements that adversely impacted the bilateral relationship. He also emphasized the need to develop a cooperative and a joint roadmap to overcome the trust deficit.

He said no country had made greater contributions and sacrifices in fighting terrorism than Pakistan adding that Pakistan was committed to pursue the fight against militants till its logical conclusion. He said the enemies of peace would continue to sabotage peace process but “we should not let the non-state actors hold hostage the governments in the region.”

Zardari also emphasized on socio-economic development and imparting education to the youth of the militancy-hit areas to permanently change the militant mindset and sought the international community’s support and cooperation in this regard.

Afghan peace process

Zardari said Pakistan had abiding interest in the peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan and would continue to support every effort of international community in this regard, adding that any development in Afghanistan was directly impacting Pakistan and that it supports Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.

Speaking on Rabbani, he said that the professor was a friend of Pakistan and an honest and serious interlocutor. He termed his assassination as an attempt to sabotage the peace and reconciliation process.

He however, expressed surprise over the reaction in the wake of Prof. Rabbani’s assassination.

“Despite negative propaganda against Pakistan, we are committed to the regional peace and have decided to attend the forthcoming trilateral summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in Istanbul next month aimed at peace and stability in the region.”

Grossman appreciated Pakistan’s struggle against militancy. He also assured US governments continued support for peace and stability in the region.

US Ambassador in Islamabad Cameron Munter, Rear Admiral Philip Davidson, senior military advisor to ambassador Grossman and other senior officials of the US embassy were also present in the meeting.

Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Defence, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Federal Minister for Finance, Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Rehman Malik, Federal Minister for Interior, Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary and spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar also attended the meeting.

Earlier today, Grossman met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Balma
    Oct 13, 2011 - 9:01PM

    I know curiousity killed the cat, but how often does PK ambassador to Washington D.C. get sharf-e-baaryaabi (darshan / viewing) with the US president?

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  • IrfanK
    Oct 14, 2011 - 12:28AM

    The world will respect us, if we first start respecting us. And that would mean getting rid of the terrorists, stop differentiating between good and bad terrorists, concentrate on building our education and economy up, work on health care, work for a secular and democratic constitution, get rid of the corruption, have friendly relations with our neighbors etc, etc. Respect is something which you command because of your achievements and success, not something which you have to beg for. Here’s wishing a bright future for Pakistan. Ameen.

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  • Pundit
    Oct 14, 2011 - 12:34AM

    @Balma: wow “sharf-e-baaryaabi” thnks for increasing my urdu vocab

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  • Sad but true
    Oct 14, 2011 - 2:29AM

    I agree with the title. Mutual respect: you give me money and I will be your puppet. Allll iss welll!!!!.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 14, 2011 - 2:41AM

    Mutual Respect is Pakistani political speak for “quit criticizing us – it makes us look bad”

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  • BruteForce
    Oct 14, 2011 - 8:04AM

    What mutual interest, what respect! Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Oct 14, 2011 - 12:13PM

    President and PM should stop being so accessible to every Tom,Dick and Harry who has pale face .They should maintain protocol.Let them meet their counter parts.

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