The deputy chief of a US Senate panel has called for continued cooperation between Islamabad and Washington to neutralise any threat that the Islamic State (IS) poses to the region.
Dianne Feinstein, vice chairperson of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, made the comment during her meeting with Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi at Capitol Hill, Washington on Thursday, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
Feinstein stressed the need for close cooperation between Islamabad and Washington to combat the rise of IS militancy.
Both sides reviewed their relationship with a special focus on defence and intelligence cooperation while expressing satisfaction on the growing momentum in this vital cooperation.
Recent achievements with regard to Pakistan’s fight against terrorism were highlighted by Fatemi as he discussed with Feinstein the ongoing military operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), which has entered in its decisive phase.
The prime minister’s special assistant on foreign affairs went on to explain how the operation of Pakistani security forces had successfully destroyed the command and control infrastructure of militants and diminished ability of terrorists to plan and conduct attacks in country or across the border.
The US senator was also informed of arrangements that were being made to secure Pakistani territory from militants by holding on to the gains in Fata and establishing the civilian governing setup in the area. She was also told about the plans to rehabilitate those dislocated from Waziristan.
Senator Feinstein noted Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate terrorism and stabilise the region and assured Islamabad of Washington’s support for enhancing its counter-terrorism capabilities.
Meanwhile, Fatemi also held a separate meeting with Robert Casey from Pennsylvania, who is a senior member of the Committee on Finance, as well as the Joint Economic Committee.
The Foreign Office said bilateral ties were discussed between Fatemi and Senator Casey. Other issues of mutual interest also came under discussion over talks.
Steps taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to reach out to its neighbours as well as efforts to revive the economy were noted by Casey.
He lauded the commitment made by the government in Islamabad and the people of Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and praised country’s positive role in facilitating the reconciliation process for stability in Afghanistan.
Fatemi was assured that the US would work closely with Pakistan to deepen the economic and trade relations between the two countries and to build a mutually beneficial partnership.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.
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