Visits of US diplomats to Lahore are meaningful
AFTER US Deputy Secretary of States Wendy R Sherman’s visit to Pakistan, US Charge d’ Affaires Angela P Aggeler has visited PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and Vice President Maryam Nawaz in Lahore.
Angela ‘s meeting with Shehbaz Sharif took place at Model Town while she met Maryam Nawaz at Jati Umra.
Over lunch in her meeting with Mian Shehbaz Sharif, the US diplomat exchanged views on the issues relating to regional peace with particular focus on the situation in Afghanistan.
Angela P Aggeler also acknowledged Shehbaz Sharif’s services as Chief Minister of the Punjab province as they talked about measures taken by the last PML-N government for economic development, war against terrorism and the steps to reduce power outages.
In the meeting with Maryam Nawaz, the US Consul General in Lahore William K Makaneole and Political Officer Khatija Corey also accompanied the American envoy.
The dignitaries were received by Maryam Nawaz herself at Jati Umra. Matters of mutual interest, and issues relating to Pakistan-US ties, regional and international security, the situation in Afghanistan, women and children rights, health and education and ways to boost people- to-people interaction between the two countries were discussed in the meeting.
During the meeting Maryam Nawaz conveyed Nawaz Sharif’s felicitations to President Joe Biden over his election victory and goodwill from the people of Pakistan.
Nawaz Sharif during his tenure held a non-invasive foreign policy and pursued a pleasant relationship based on mutual trust, peace and development with Pakistan’s neighbours and the international community.
Actually Pakistan considers Afghanistan as a close neighbouring country and respects its sovereignty and does not support any interference in its matters.
Pakistan has always wished a peaceful, developing and prosperous Afghanistan.
Entire world should contribute to the humanitarian aid for Afghanistan. It is imperative that a congenial environment be created that would encourage the repatriation of Afghan refugees to their beloved motherland.
Pakistan had sacrificed a lot in the war on terror. Pakistan has built the narrative against terrorism and united the nation against this menace.
Pakistan has always represented the true aspirations of the people and believed in promoting peaceful coexistence, democracy, development and security.
Pakistan wants to strengthen and nurture the democracy and democratic values, for which it seeks to join forces with democratic forces of the world.
During the meetings with Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz the American envoy acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices for the war against terror.
She appreciated Maryam Nawaz’s efforts for the rights of women, children, media and human rights. This positive gesture of US to PML-N leaders carry clear positive message.
Separately, the US Charge d’affaires Angela Aggeler along with a delegation called on Acting Punjab Governor Chaudhry Parvez Elahi at the Governor House.
Federal Minister for Water Resources Moonis Elahi, Members of the National Assembly Salik Hussain and Hussain Elahi also participated in the meeting. This meeting too is clear indication of US mood.
Pakistan and the United States need to maintain long-term strong relationship and the cooperation in various fields.
The US diplomat valued Pakistan’s role in the evacuation of Afghan refugees. Pakistan has long been an important strategic partner of the United States.
Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism should be duly acknowledged by the US and NATO. During next few months new political alliances will be seen in the country’s politics.
At this stage visits of Wendy Sherman and Angela Aggeler to Pakistan carry political and diplomatic agenda. Gestures of US officials to Pakistani politicians are meaningful.
—The writer, based in Islamabad, is book ambassador, columnist and author of several books.