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Sole issue can’t define decades old Pak-US ties: PM Abbasi

Lahore : Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said ties between Washington and Islamabad were based upon decades old diplomatic, political and historic affinities and could not be defined with the sole issue of Afghanistan.

He said both governments were committed to remain engaged over a range of issues, including the issue of war on terror as Pakistan had been fighting the biggest war in the world against the menace.

During an interview in Geo TV programme hosted by Talat Hussain, the prime minister to a query about recent statements of US officials, said they had to see the outcome of the bilateral meetings held at the highest levels.

Referring to his meetings with US Vice President Pence, brief interaction with US President Donald Trump followed by recent meetings of Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif during his US visit,  the prime minister said those were very constructive.

Pakistan presented its stance in a very candid and clear manner as both countries were partners in the war on terror which required them to deal the issue jointly, he added.

The prime minister maintained that issues should be perceived through the outcome of bilateral talks and not through statements given by the US officials during their hearing before the Congress or at other forums.

To a query, he said after Trump’s statement about new Afghanistan strategy, the National Security Committee and parliament had given a unanimous message which was Pakistan government’s clear response.

Subsequent meetings further clarified the issues, he said, adding, “We placed our stance very clearly and they appreciated it.”

Prime Minister Abbasi said the basic issue was Pakistan had been fighting the biggest war against terrorism with deployment of about 200,000 armed forces personnel. It had offered huge sacrifices as a large number of civilian and law enforcement agencies personnel laid down their lives in that war. The whole world acknowledged it.

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