Pakistan-US strategic dialogue tackles terrorism and nuclear issue

ISLAMABAD, 1st March 2016 (WAM) – Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz talking to media along with US Secretary of State John Kerry after sixth round of ministerial level Pakistan-US strategic dialogue held in Washington yesterday said that contentious sale of F-16 fighter jets would strengthen the South Asian nation’s ability to mount counter-terrorist operations and promote regional stability.

This was reported by the local press today .He said the US government this month approved the sale of the aircraft, radar and electronic warfare equipment to Pakistan in a deal worth nearly $700 million.

Aziz appreciated the US leadership’s public assessment that Pakistan uses F-16s effectively against terrorists.

He reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to “finish and win” the fight against terrorism. “Our strategy to eliminate the terrorist networks and defeat their extremist ideology is all-encompassing,” adding that through military operation Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan is determined to deny space to any terrorist groups to plan and launch violent activities from the Pakistani soil. since its launch in June 2014, Zarb-e-Azb is probably the most successful story in the history of counter-terrorism operations, he claimed. Pakistan is taking all necessary measures to launch intelligence-based operations and choke the funding sources of terrorist organizations, he said.

So far, accounts amounting to more than one billion Rupees belonging to the terrorist and extremist organizations have been frozen by the State Bank of Pakistan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry commended Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations, including in North Waziristan. Kerry welcomed Pakistan’s commitment not to differentiate among terrorist groups. He said groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba seek to undermine Pakistan’s relations with its neighbors.

Kerry said at talks they would also discuss Pakistan’s “obligations of being a responsible state with nuclear weapons.” He noted that the US and Russia had succeeded in reducing their nuclear stockpiles.

“We are moving in the other direction, and I think it’s important for Pakistan to really process that reality and put that front and center in its policy,” Kerry said.

Pakistan will attend nuclear security summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington at the end of March.

WAM/ Islamabad