Washington: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday met top American Senators who are members of a Congressional intelligence committee and briefed them on the efforts being taken by her country in the war on terror.
During the meeting held at the Capitol, Khar told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that it was important that Pakistan's priorities, concerns and constraints were better understood by the US.
Khar, who is currently on a four-day visit, said she is in Washington to have in-depth discussions on how best to deal with the challenges in the bilateral relationship and to build on the recent positive momentum in strengthening the special relationship between the two countries.
Informing the top Americans Senators that Pakistan aims to have a genuine dialogue with the US on Afghanistan, Khar reaffirmed her commitment to use the trilateral mechanism to promote an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
Instability in Afghanistan, she said, threatens Pakistan more than any other nation on earth. She reiterated that Pakistan is a critical part of the solution to the Afghan dilemma, and said that the notion that Pakistan is part of the problem is wrong and must be corrected.
She also said that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is central to both the short and long term interests of Pakistan.
Among top Senators who attended the meeting were the Committee Chairperson, Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman, Senator Saxby Chambliss, and Senators Richard Burr, Dan Coats, Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio, and James Risch.
She apprised them of the "extraordinary efforts and sacrifices" Pakistan has made to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and build a peaceful, stable South and Central Asia.
Earlier in the day, USIAD Administrator Rajiv Shah called on Khar during which the two officials reviewed the state of economic collaboration and USAID work and assistance projects in Pakistan. Khar thanked Shah for the timely and generous US humanitarian support during the floods in Pakistan in 2010 and 2011.
Large signature projects, Khar pointed out, could be important symbols of the good that Pakistan-US partnership has brought to the people of Pakistan.
In this regard, she appreciated the signing of the MoU for Peshawar-Torkham road for which USD 70 million is being released.
She also stressed the desirability for timely "on budget" release of funds and the need for greater coordination and synergy in project implementation between USAID and Pakistan government.
Khar reiterated that Pakistan favors early convening of the Working Groups on Economy and Finance, Trade and Market Access, Energy, and Water, to intensify collaboration between the two countries.
On his part Shah apprised Khar of the USAID's operational difficulties in Pakistan and urged her to address these to ensure smooth and effective delivery of the assistance.
First Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 13:58