US turn to deliver on its promise: Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi conceding that Pak-US differences still exists said that it is now US turn to ‘Do More’.

Briefing media men on Pak-US strategic dialogue to be held in Washington on March 24, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that he will proceed to Washington along with a high level delegation and will meet with the US cabinet, Senator Kerry and other members of Foreign Relation Committee at Capital Hill.

Qureshi maintained that Pakistan wants long-term strategic partnership based on mutual trust, respect and shared values.

He said that development assistance is imperative but not a sole driver for a stable strategic partnership.

Elaborating on the long-term strategic vision strategy 2010 to foster Pak-US relations, he said that unfortunately past engagements were not successful and now Pakistan is heading with entirely new framework.

He said that Pakistan is now going to propose an annual Foreign Ministers engagement; biannual meeting of Foreign Secretary and US Envoy Holbrook and ten track calendar based sectoral engagements.

He said that the discussion in the past was security related and the past negotiations with the US was on near term priorities.

Foreign Minister said that through these engagements we want to lay down the foundation of a deeper and mutually beneficial partnership.

Qureshi termed 2010, a crucial year to turn the tied in the region and given a clear message that statements are not enough US must do some particle as well.

He said that we seek cooperation from US in different sectors including economy, energy sector, education, defence, Science and technology, strategic relations, counter terrorism, agriculture and public diplomacy.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that we have build consensus amongst our inner system including with the armed forces about dialogue with the US.

Talking about the military operations in the tribal areas, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that in eighteen months our forces conducted successful operations in Swat, Malakand and other tribal areas and made it clear over the world that these areas are not safe heaven for the terrorists.

He said we have told the US that it is the time to take practical steps. The whole Pakistani nation has given a lot of sacrifices and it is the time for the US to “do more”.

He expressed his hope that US would assist Pakistan for security issues and for the development of social sector.

Answering to a question, Foreign Minister said that we are well aware about Indian war enthusiasm and do not want to start a race of weapons however, maximum deterrence would be ensured.

Qureshi said that there is no clarity in India’s mind on effective engagement with Pakistan as India is facing an internal divide on these talks.

Pakistan is a responsible country and we have no need for any certificate, he added.

On the Drone attacks issue Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that in past we condemned such attacks and we would continue to do this in future also. He emphasized that US should understand our stance and should also respect our Sovereignty.

He affirmed that drone technology might be helpful in effective actions against militants.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan and US relations are base on several decades and US should not view these relations in the light of Afghanistan.

Answering to another question about Foreign Secretary’s visit to the General Headquarter Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that all the institutes are working like a team and mutual cooperation is also being developed among them.

All the departments are working for the progress of the country, he added.

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