US President Barack Obama says that he emphasised to President Asif Zardari that Pakistan has to be part of the solution in Afghanistan.
In a press conference at the Nato summit in Chicago, the US leader said that his discussion with President Zardari was very brief.
“It is in our interest to see a Pakistan that is democratic and stable,” he said, “We need to work through tensions that have risen. President Zardari shared with me his belief that these issues can be worked through.”
He said that they had not been expecting the Nato supply routes issue to be worked through during the summit. “We are making diligent progress on reopening of supply routes.”
He said neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan would have stability unless they could resolve their outstanding issues. “I don’t want to paper over real challenges,” the US president said, adding that there had been tensions between Pakistan and the US and Pakistan and Isaf over the past several months.
“Ultimately it is in our interest to see a stable Pakistan,” he said, adding that it was in Pakistan’s interest to see that they were not consumed by extremism in its midst.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
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