McMaster’s visit

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VISIT of the US National Security Advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster to Pakistan afforded yet another opportunity to Pakistani leadership to have meaningful consultations with new US administration on crucial issues of bilateral interest especially regional security, war on terror and how to forge closer collaboration for the sake of regional and global peace and stability. The two sides understandably put across their point of view on these and other related issues, which would surely help clear some of the ambiguities and irritants in bilateral relations.
Though Trump administration has not officially announced its policy for the region but the use of Mother of All Bombs in Afghanistan against IS threat gives some clue as to what is in store for the region despite complaints that the United States has once again left us in the lurch. In the backdrop of propaganda campaign unleashed by anti-Pakistan forces that the country was source of trouble in the region, the Prime Minister has done well in conveying to the US leader in categorical terms that Pakistan believes in reaching out to both India and Afghanistan in furtherance of its policy of good neighbourly relations with all countries of the region. As President Trump has also been indicating his interest to lend a helping hand in resolution of longstanding issue of Jammu & Kashmir, the PM also reiterated his firm conviction on sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement as the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan including the core issue of Kashmir. As for the issue of extremism and terrorism, Pakistan has always demonstrated its sincerity to address the challenge and has more sacrifices both in terms of men and material in the war against terrorism. It has also achieved major successes and these were shown to American military leadership during their recent visits to Pakistan when they were also taken to Waziristan to see for themselves the progress made so far. However, stabilisation of the gains is possible only if there is continued cooperation from the US and we hope Gen McMaster would have carried this message back home.