ISLAMABAD: United States Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan said on Saturday that his visit to Pakistan was not aimed at pressing the country to launch a military operation in North Waziristan.
US Embassy’s spokesperson Rian Harris told Business Recorder that Grossman, who arrived here on a two-day visit on Saturday and met Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, is also scheduled to meet Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
“I am not here to pressurise Pakistan pertaining to army assault against North Waziristan….Pakistan will make its own decisions about what is in its interests,” the spokesperson quoted Grossman as saying. “Terrorism is the scourge affecting both our nations and we ought to fight it together,” she further quoted Grossman as saying.
Grossman also said that the US-Pakistan relationship was multifaceted.
“They (Pakistan-US relations) are not just about security – they are about economic ties, civil society dialogue, and people to people ties…we want to build a relationship on mutual respect,” the US Embassy’s spokesperson quoted the visiting US diplomat as saying.
Diplomats, however, maintained that issues such as cross-border infiltration from across the Afghan border and the North Waziristan would also be discussed during his meeting with the Army Chief.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office’s spokesperson Moazzam Ahmad Khan said that during his meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Grossman exchanged views on a wide range of issues of mutual interest particularly Pakistan-US relations and the regional situation.
While talking to the visiting top US diplomat, Foreign Minister underlined the importance of a broad-based relationship between Pakistan and the US marked by deeper and wider cooperation in diverse fields.
The Special Representative highlighted the US commitment to a long-term relationship with Pakistan based on mutual interest and mutual respect, he added.
The Foreign Office spokesperson said that the two leaders also expressed satisfaction on the progress made by the Working Group on Law Enforcement and Counter Terrorism which recently met in Washington DC under the bilateral Strategic Dialogue framework.
“They expressed the hope that the Working Groups on Economy, Finance, Energy and Water would meet soon”, Khan said, adding that the bilateral Defence Consultative Group is scheduled to meet in the first week of December this year.
He said that the issue of Afghanistan also came under discussion.
“The Foreign Minister and Marc Grossman exchanged views on recent developments and expressed the commitment to continue working together in support of Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process and for progress and stability of the country,” he said.
Source: Business Recorder