WASHINGTON: Pakistan is critical part of solution to the Afghan dilemma, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Wednesday as she urged the Capitol Hill to have better understanding of Islamabad's concerns and priorities.
According to Pakistani officials, the foreign minister had a candid exchange of views with the members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, the Pakistani embassy said.
Islamabad's ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman accompanied Foreign Minister Khar at the meeting while the US side included Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman Senator Saxby Chambliss, and Senators Richard Burr, Dan Coats, Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio, and James Risch attended the meeting.
The foreign minister apprised the American lawmakers of the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices Pakistan has made in its drive to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and build a peaceful, stable South and Central Asia.
Pakistan attached great importance to its relationship with the US and the people of Pakistan wanted their contributions and sacrifices in fighting terrorism recognized and appreciated, she said.
Ms Khur underscored that it was important that Pakistan's priorities, concerns and constraints were better understood by the US.
The top Pakistani diplomat said that she was in Washington to have in-depth discussions on how best to deal with the challenges in the bilateral relationship and to build on the recent positive momentum in strengthening the special relationship between Pakistan and the United States.
Pakistan, she said, aims to have a genuine dialogue with the United States on Afghanistan and reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to use the trilateral mechanism to promote an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
The foreign minister pointed out to American lawmakers that instability in Afghanistan threatens Pakistan more than any other nation on earth.
Pakistan is a critical part of the solution to the Afghan dilemma, and the notion that Pakistan is part of the problem is wrong and must be corrected.
She also reiterated that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is central to both the short and long-term interests of Pakistan.
During the meeting, Khar responded to a number of questions raised by her interlocutors on regional security, counterterrorism efforts, and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
The meeting lasted for approximately one hour. Foreign Minister Khar is scheduled to hold more meetings with important US legislators, members of the Obama Administration, leaders of Washington's think tank community, and critical elements of the US electronic and print press during her stay in Washington. (APP)