Pakistan Observer

Zardari tells Grossman about revival of Pak-US relations

Participates in quadrilateral meeting

Monday, March 26, 2012 - Dushanbe—President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the Parliamentary review process of Pak-US relations was a manifestation of democracy taking roots in Pakistan and the elected representatives taking ownership of one of Pakistan’s most important bilateral relationships.

He said that the effort had to be within the parameters.

He said this during meeting with Marc Grossman Special US Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan in Dushanbe on Sunday where the President Zardari earlier participated in the quadrilateral talks with heads of states of Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan.

Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted the President as saying that the government wanted to revive the relationship with the US on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest and in the light of parliamentary review.

Pakistan wanted to re-engage with the US at all levels in the light of the Parliamentary review which, the President said, would be completed soon.

Farhatullah Babar said that the President also drew US attention to the need for greater transparency in the relationship.

During the talks the President also called for exploring options for increased market access through preferential tariff for Pakistan exports to US markets.

The Spokesperson said that President Zardari also raised the issue of drug trade that was providing financial sustainability to the militants and called for concerned international efforts to curb the menace. He said that large quantities of opiates entered Pakistan from across the border and called for the US and NATO forces to interdict the movement of drugs which he said was critical for drying up the financial sources of militants.

About the drone attacks the President said that these violated Pakistan’s sovereignty, were counterproductive and because of the civilian casualties it even fuelled militancy and called for an end to drone strikes.

The President said that Pakistan believed that peace and stability in Pakistan depended on peace and stability in Afghanistan and that Pakistan would continue to fight the militants till the logical end.

Farhatullah Babar said that during meeting with Grossman President Zardari also drew attention to the energy crisis in Pakistan and said that Iran Pakistan gas pipeline line project concluded years ago should be seen as vital to solving Pakistan’s energy problem and its economic development.

US representative said that the United States respected the Parliamentary process of overview of relationship and expressed the hope that the process would be completed soon and the Pak-US relations would soon be back to normal.

Addressing the Nauroz International Conference president Asif Ali Zardari says the bonds that bring together people of the South and Central Asian region‚ are deeply rooted in history‚ culture‚ religion and shared values —NNI

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