US Congressman Mr. Chris Stewart called on the Special Assistant to
the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, this afternoon. A Republican
Party member from Utah’s Second District, Congressman Chris serves as a
member of House Appropriations Committee and the House Intelligence
Welcoming Congressman Steward on his maiden visit to Pakistan, the SAPM appreciated the positive role and invaluable support by the US Congress for democracy in Pakistan over the years. The SAPM underscored the importance of deepening cooperation between the elected legislatures of the two countries, noting that Pakistan, as vibrant democracy, has a lot to learn from the US.
The SAPM highlighted the importance that Pakistan attached to a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with the US. He said that certain recent developments warranted closer cooperation and better understanding. He said that frequent visits such as that of the Congressman and earlier one led by Senator John McCain would help promote this objective.
The SAPM noted that Pakistan was particularly disappointed at the news that the Pentagon had decided not to certify about the concerted and forceful measures taken against the Haqqani network. Ironically, this had happened at a time when Pakistan had made remarkable progress through operation Zarb-e-Azb in dismantling terrorist networks from Pakistan’s soil without discrimination. Linking the release of Coalition Support Funds to specific actions by Pakistan, the SAPM pointed out, was not consistent with the spirit of the CSF which in fact is a reimbursement for the expenses incurred by Pakistan in supporting wider counter-terrorism efforts in the region post 9/11.
In his remarks, Congressman Chris Stewart noted that Congress recognized the efforts and sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation and its armed forces in the fight against terrorism. He added that the visit had provided him a deeper understanding of the Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation in counterterrorism and towards the joint efforts by QCG in restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan.