Sartaj regrets crude outburst of US Lawmakers

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad–Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan is engaging closing with the United States at various levels to ensure that the country’s national interests and priorities are duly considered by the decision makers in Washington.
Briefing the Senate on Tuesday about the recent outburst of US lawmakers against Pakistan, the adviser said Pakistan respects difference of opinion but use of inappropriate language at respectable forums like the US congress lowers the dignity of the august chamber. Such crude outbursts also disappoint people with democratic aspirations around the world
The adviser added that a wide section of the US Congress does not share sentiments of a select few members.
Let me draw your attention to the fact that recently an amendment to cut assistance for Pakistan was defeated in the congress, the adviser said in his statement to the upper house, adding the US State department has publicly recognized that Pakistan has made meaningful progress in eliminating safe havens and that Pakistan itself has paid a heavy price in fighting terrorism.
He, however, said that for creating more effective linkages with the next US administration and to neutralize the negative moves of anti Pakistan lobbies, we are also intensifying our lobbying efforts through Pakistani Diaspora and lobbying firm.
Pakistan’s foreign policy remains anchored on its own national interests.
In this process, we will continue to articulate our national perspective to all foreign partners including the United States and its respective arms of the government in order to further strengthen our mutual relations to achieve the shared objective, Aziz said adding Pakistan understands that foreign assistance is an investment in bilateral friendship and serves donors interests as well. However it is most helpful only when it strengthens our bilateral relationships with foreign partners.
He said that views of a few US congressmen may reflect a shade of opinion in the US Congress but this is not reflective of the actual US policy. Similarly, while testimonies by the US officials in these hearings do reflect the US policy, but statements made by non governmental witnesses only reflect their personal opinions and interests of the lobbies they represent.
He said our engagements with the US Congress continue on regular basis and in this regard he mentioned the recent visits of US congressmen to Pakistan and their meetings with the country’s civilian and military leadership.

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