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US should have deeper engagement with us to promote stability in Afghanistan: Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Welcoming a four-member delegation of US senators, Khan also said that the two countries should work in close cooperation to address the security threats in the region, including terrorism.

Published: 11th December 2021 11:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2021 11:45 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo | AFP)

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that the country and the US must have deeper engagement to promote the shared objectives of peace, stability and economic development to support the Afghan people by taking all possible measures to prevent a humanitarian crisis and economic collapse.

Welcoming a four-member delegation of US senators, Khan also said that the two countries should work in close cooperation to address the security threats in the region, including terrorism.

"Pakistan valued its long-standing relationship with the United States and was committed to expanding it in all spheres, particularly in the economic dimension," he said that while welcoming the delegation that arrived in Pakistan on Friday night amidst latest unease in the ties with Pakistan due to its decision to boycott the Democracy Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden.

He emphasised that Pakistan and the US must have deeper engagement to promote the shared objectives of peace, stability and economic development, particularly underscoring the urgent need to support the Afghan people by taking all possible measures to prevent a humanitarian crisis and economic collapse.

Khan also highlighted the importance of closer cooperation to address the security threats in the region, including terrorism. The four member US delegation consisted of senators Angus King, Richard Burr, John Cornyn and Benjamin Sasse.

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All four senators are members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, while Senator King is also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Prime Minister reiterated that a deeper and stronger partnership between the two countries was mutually beneficial and critical for the region's peace, security and prosperity.

Recalling collective struggles of Pakistan and the US over the decades in promoting peace and security globally, the Senators appreciated Pakistan's recent contribution in evacuation of the American nationals and others from Afghanistan post-15 August when the Taliban seized power in Kabul.

The Senators reaffirmed their commitment to a stable and broad-based Pakistan-US bilateral relationship.

They emphasised that, given the size of Pakistan's population as well as its geo-strategic location, the US and Pakistan should make determined efforts to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation.

The US delegation also called on Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. "(The) COAS said that Pakistan desires to maintain productive bilateral engagement with all the regional players and wished for peaceful, diversified, sustained relations," according to a statement by the Army.

He also reiterated the urgency for global convergence on Afghanistan to avoid the looming humanitarian crisis and need for coordinated efforts for economic uplift of the Afghan people. He thanked the senators for their efforts in forging mutual understanding of the geo political and security situation in view of challenges ahead.

The US delegation also met Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, who underscored that Pakistan valued its long-standing relationship with the United States , according to a statement by the Foreign Office. "Deeper engagement between the two countries was pivotal for peace, security and development in the region," Mahmood said.

Highlighting Pakistan's pivot to geo-economics, the Foreign Secretary emphasised that Pakistan welcomed enhanced bilateral trade and greater investments from the US.

He briefed the senators on the serious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and hoped the international community would help the Afghans. In this regard, he stressed the importance of release of Afghanistan's frozen financial resources.

The US froze over USD 9 billion assets of the Afghan Central Bank after the Taliban insurgents grabbed power in the country in mid-August this year He also apprised the delegation about Pakistan's efforts to mobilise international support through multiple regional and international mechanisms and mentioned the Extraordinary Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Council of Foreign Ministers, being hosted in Islamabad for discussing the humanitarian issue in the war-torn country.



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