By Arif Qureshi
Islamabad: Special Assistant to the U.S. President for National Security Affairs, Dr. Peter Lavoy, accompanied by the US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Ms. Rose Gottemoeller and Ambassador Richard Olson met with Pakistan’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, on Wednesday here in Islamabad.
The meeting was focused on recent political and security developments in region especially the Pakistan-brokered Afghan peace negotiations between Afghan Taliban and Afghan Government which was first ever face to face talks between the two rivals after a decade.
According to one diplomatic source Dr. Peter Lavoy, Special Assistant to the U.S. President for National Security Affairs, praised the initiative taken by the prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in July to continue dialogue followed by now the meeting between Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is scheduled on August 23 in New Delhi.
According to source during the meeting recent attack of militants in Indian city Gurdaspur also came under discussion with details which was condemned by Pakistan. On 27 July 2015 three gunmen dressed in army uniforms opened fire on a bus and then attacked the Dina Nagar police station in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, India. The attack resulted in the death of three civilians and four policemen, including a superintendent of police; fifteen others were injured. India blamed Pakistan based kashmiri militant group Lashkar Taiba (LeT) headed by Hafiz Muhmmad Saeed.
While appreciating the upward trajectory in Pakistan-US relations, Mr Srtaj Aziz emphasized on the need to upgrade this bilateral relationship to a new strategic level.
The Adviser highlighted the counter-terrorism efforts and progress made by Pakistan in strengthening democratic institutions. He underlined Pakistan’s strong commitment to the policy of non-interference and peaceful neighborhood in the region. On the recent security developments in Afghanistan, Sartaj Aziz reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to support and facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Dr. Peter Lavoy underscored that the US wanted to further strengthen and broaden Pakistan-US relations. He appreciated Pakistan’s successful operation to root out terrorism and extremism from the country. He recognized Pakistan’s efforts and facilitation role in the Afghan reconciliation process and expressed the US desire to have stronger relations between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
The Writer is Editor “The Fortress”