A delegation of American Senators headed by Senator John McCain and included senators Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren and David Perdue visited Pakistan and held meetings with representatives of civilian government and with military leaderships.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Sunday in the meeting with the US delegation discussed Pak-US ties, matters of regional importance, peace in Afghanistan and the US’ role in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG). Senator McCain asserted that there was no change in the US position on Kashmir. “The United States will continue its existing policy on Kashmir.
The US delegation also called upon Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Delegation was briefed about the security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s contribution towards peace and stability in the region. Senator McCain appreciated and acknowledged Pakistan Army’s contributions and sacrifices in the War on terror. The senator also agreed on the importance of Pak-Afghan security cooperation and coordination.
US delegation appreciated Pakistan in the recent visit but ground realities suggest otherwise. During recent visit of US by Indian Prime Minister, Trump administration declared Salah-ud-Din a global terrorist. He is well known for his struggle for Kashmir cause. It seems the way Israel is integral to securing American interests in the Middle East, India holds similar position in this region just to counter growing influence of China. Eventually, one should not expect that US will deal with the Kashmir issue differently than it is dealing with the Palestinian issue.
US delegation appreciated efforts of Pakistan in fight against terrorism, but just few days before the visit of this delegation, the US State Department proposed a massive $190 million cut in aid to Pakistan as compared to 2016. Statements of US delegations would be considered just lip service, until it returns to US and convince Trump administration about the role and sacrifices of Pakistan is defeating terrorism. Because we often hear that US congressmen criticize Pakistan for not doing much against terrorism. In the past it was also noticed that just to cover failures of US in Afghanistan, Pakistan was asked to ‘do more’ against terrorism.
Delegation should persuade Trump administration to recognize crucial role of Pakistan in maintain regional peace and stability.
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