Pakistan Foreign Minister embarks on 3-day U.S. visit

Asif meets top US diplomat in Washington

Mr Asif, who is visiting Washington at Secretary Tillerson's invitation, said that Pakistan and the United States shared a common desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large, the embassy's statement said. He stressed that it should be called an act of terror. We want it to be peaceful.

"So, it really is an regional approach and Pakistan, I think, is critical to the long-term stability of the region", he said.

Maj gen Asif Ghafoor denied the presence of any organised bases of any terrorist organisation in country anymore. he said, "more than 50 percent of Afghan territory is out of Kabul's control, which is affecting Pakistan".

"The US government and army can not make Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures in Afghanistan", foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, the Dawn newspaper reported.

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On question of threat by Indian Air Chief about targeting Pakistan's nuclear sites, the DG ISPR stated that if India dare to try it, everyone will see Pakistan's response.

It is a matter of bitter record that Pakistan and US despite being decades' old allies never had friendly/cordial relations which had unfortunately been further deteriorated and tensed following the recent outburst of the American President against Islamabad in an uncalled for manner during his South Asia Policy review.

He said the menace of global terrorism has claimed hundreds of thousands of human lives.

"I am honoured to represent a country that is overcoming challenges of disarray and wishes to build a partnership for a secure and prosperous future", he said, adding that "terrorism is being rigorously battled" in the country.

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Pakistan on Thursday rejected recent remarks by senior US officials that Pakistan security agencies have links with the Afghan armed groups and that there are sanctuaries of terrorists in Pakistan. "Kashmiris have faced all forms and manifestations of state-sponsored terrorism".

Furthermore, the DG ISPR said that by virtue of its geographical importance, Pakistan is critical to the region and even beyond.

"We're going to be working very hard at all levels from the State Department, to the Defense Department, to our intelligence communities, as well as economic, commerce opportunities", Tillerson said. It wants to engage Pakistan regionally to divert its attention from the diplomatic front on Kashmir issue where Pakistan is making progress, he added.

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