Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has underlined the need for clear terms of engagement that should be agreed upon beforehand between Pakistan and the United States in the war against militants so that conflicting positions and unilateral actions did not adversely impact on the bilateral ties between the two countries.
He said this during his meeting with Ambassador Marc Grossman, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
Ambassador Grossman was accompanied by Ambassador Cameron Munter, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Rear Admiral Philip Davidson, and other senior officials.
Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Federal Minister for Finance, Senator A. Rehman Malik, Federal Minister for Interior, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Foreign Secretary Mr. Salman Bashir and Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar also attended the meeting.
Briefing the media Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that Pak-US bilateral relations, war against militants and regional situation with special reference to Afghanistan was discussed during the meeting.
He said that discussing war against militants, the President said that in the absence of well-defined and documented terms of engagements, wrongs plugs may be pulled at the wrong times by any side that could undermine the bilateral relations. The President said that terms of engagement should be clearly defined and specified so that any dispute could be settled amicably through the available institutions.
Mr. Babar said that the President also emphasized that a long-term, sustainable and multidimensional relationship with the United States should be based on mutual interest, trust and mutual respect.
Discussing war against terror, the President also underlined Pakistan’s resolve to continue its struggle till its logical end saying that it was in its own interests to fight militancy and to rid our land from the extremists and militants. He said that Pakistan has rendered unparalleled sacrifices in this struggle and was determined to continue this fight till its logical conclusion.
The President said that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan was in the interest of peace and stability in Pakistan. Therefore, he said, Pakistan would assist in all efforts intended to bring peace, stability and development of Afghanistan. Socio-economic development along with due emphasis on capacity building of Afghan institution would help bring durable peace and stability in Afghanistan, he said.
The President also reiterated his call to the international community to take effective steps to end all avenues of funding for the militants and their activities.
Discussing mutual relationships and the current regional developments, the President underlined the need for mutual trust and to work more closely in finding solutions to the prevailing challenges.
Mr. Grossman thanked the President for meeting and said that US was open to the suggestion put forth by the President.
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