Pentagon delegation to visit Pakistan next week
WASHINGTON: A high-level delegation of the US Department of Defense will be in Islamabad next week to meet Pakistan’s civilian and military officials, announced Assistant Secretary of Defence Randall Schriver.
During an event organised by the Pakistani Embassy to commemorate ‘Defence and Martys Day’, Schriver acknowledged the country’s sacrifices and hoped that the renewed relations between the two nations would create “opportunities that we can capitalise on.”
In his remarks, Schriver also expressed that ties between the armed forces was one of the strongest pillars and foundations for the relationship. “We are appreciative of Pakistani leadership in its cooperation in achieving the objective of peace in the region,” he said.
Referring to Pakistan’s efforts in bringing political settlement in Afghanistan, he said that the US is not across the finish line yet, but still wants to be Pakistan’s partner and achieve peaceful outcomes. “We appreciate everythingPakistan has done to get us to this point, and we appreciate the cooperation that we know we will continue over that very important work,” he said adding, “Our intent is to be aspirational and talk about where we can go on the future and how we can even strengthen and improve cooperation, all the challenges that we have notwithstanding.”
This year ‘Defence Day’ was also observed along with ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ to express solidarity with Kashmiri brothers and sisters who are currently suffering under the repressive lockdown by the Indian occupation forces for the last one month.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said that throughout history, Pakistan confronted and overcome external aggression as well as terrorism and extremism. “This has only been possible because of the sacrifices made by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies of Pakistan,” Khan said while paying tribute to the armed forces. He told his audience, “We commemorate this day, we pledge to continue to promote the ideals of peace, respect for human life and freedom not only at the domestic front but also at the regional and global level.”
The ambassador said that some 13 million Kashmiris have remained imprisoned in their homes and cut off from the rest of the world. To remind the Kashmiri people that they are not alone, Pakistan was also observing the day as Kashmir Solidarity Day. “We have acted with great restraint and responsibility. However, there should be no doubt. Pakistan and its armed forces stand ready to give a befitting response and defend the homeland if anyone dares to breach our sovereignty or territorial integrity,” he said.
Regarding bilateral relations between Pakistan and the US, Ambassador Khan said that strong and robust bilateral defence relations have been a hallmark of Pakistan-US relations. “Our defence cooperation and collaboration has always been a factor for regional peace and the promotion of our shared security interests,” he said.
While speaking on the occasion, Defence Attaché Brig Kamal Anwar Chaudhry said that the nation shall always remember supreme sacrifices of the sons and daughters of the nation who laid their lives for prosperous tomorrow. Pakistan has turned a tide against terrorism at a great cost including the loss of more than 82,000 human lives. “Pakistan remains committed to peace in the region and beyond,” he said and added that Pakistan’s Armed Forces stand with Kashmiris in the fight for right to self-determination.