Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday told US National Security Advisor Susan Rice that Pakistan wants a “meaningful” and “objective” dialogue with India on all outstanding issues, amid reports that she is here on an “emergency visit” in the wake of Indo-Pak border tensions.
In his meeting with Rice, Sharif, while talking about ties with India, informed the US delegation the reasons behind the cancellation of talks between NSAs of India and Pakistan, Dawn News reported.
Sharif said Pakistan wants to hold a “meaningful” and “objective” dialogue on all outstanding issues with New Delhi.
Rice arrived in Pakistan on a day-long visit to exchange views on various matters and prepare agenda for Sharif’s visit to the US in October.
A statement by Sharif’s office, that made no direct reference to his comments on ties with India, said the meeting “focused on matters of bilateral interest and the future of Pakistan-US relations.”
“The situation in the region also came under discussion,” it said without giving details.
Media reports have said the US National Security Advisor is here on an “emergency visit” as part of the American effort to reduce the ongoing tension between the two neighbours.
Her visit coincides with an escalation in tension between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control (LoC). Also, Pakistan called off the scheduled NSA-level talks between the two countries at the last minute over India’s refusal to allow Islamabad to have consultations with Kashmiri separatists.
The White House has, however, asserted that Rice’s visit was planned in advance and this was not emergency visit due the increasing tension.
During the meeting today, Sharif said the US is an important partner of Pakistan in all areas especially economy, defence and counter-terrorism.
He said Pakistan sees its ties with the US as a partnership which is in the interest of the two countries, the region and the world. Sharif said he was looking forward to his US visit in October as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties.
Meanwhile, Rice later also called on Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. She was accompanied by Lavoy, Ambassador Richard Olson and other senior officials from the National Security Council to the meeting.
During the meeting, wide-ranging discussions were held on the regional situation especially in the wake of emerging security environment in Afghanistan and current stalemate in Pakistan-India dialogue process. Discussions were also held on broader areas of Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation and preparations for the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to the US in October this year.
Aziz also hosted a lunch in honour of the visiting US delegation. Later, addressing a meeting which was attended by many top officials, Rice outlined President Barack Obama’s global vision and future priorities and said this vision provides a very important framework for a multi-dimensional partnership between Pakistan and the United States.
Apart from the officials that were present during Rice’s talks with Aziz, the expanded meeting was attended by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rahman, Secretary Defence and Secretary Interior.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed different areas of Pakistan-US cooperation and expressed satisfaction at the current stability in bilateral relations. Areas of possible future collaboration between the two countries were also discussed during the meeting.