Trump lauds Pakistan civil, military leadership on one page: FM

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WASHINGTON):     Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said the meeting between Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump is start of new era of relations between the two countries.

FM said this while addressing a press conference here Tuesday after meetings between Pakistan and US authorities.

He held candid and open talks featuring bilateral ties, trade, Afghan peace and Kashmir problem took place between the two sides in three sessions.

He said presenting Pakistan stance in the talks was our objective. President Trump wants to start greater relations with Pakistan and he wants to forge a new and different kind relationship with Pakistan.

He went on to say if we look into the relations between the two countries there existed a big vacuum. No contact was made at this level between the both countries during the last five years. May be these were capital hill contacts or administrative level contact, a vacuum was created. The critics of Pakistan reaped opportunity to present their view point in this vacuum and one sided view point came to open.

Shah Mehmood said a deadlock persisted in the relations between the two countries with the reference of defence matters. Therefore talks on defence matters was a good omen.

He remarked President Trump lauded this that Pakistan civil and military leadership was on one page.

PM Imran Khan extended invitation to President Trump to visit Pakistan during the meeting, he said adding the latter has accepted it.

Citing to President Trump offer of mediation on Kashmir issue Qurshi said he had never ever before heard any such open and bold demonstration of offer by any US president on resolution of Kashmir issue.

To a question that in the past several US presidents had extended offer for cooperation and laid stress on resolution of Kashmir issue but this conundrum has not been sorted out so far, he said for a long time even mention of Kashmir was not made and seeing it this can be said that the matter now stands reinvigorated;

He said if any headway is made on this issue after President Trump offer then possibility of peace in South Asia will emerge.

To a question on Kashmir issue he said Pakistan is peace loving country and it wants Kashmir issue is addressed through dialogue because both the countries are nuclear powers and a war between them will be a suicide.

According to Pakistan Foreign Office communiqué, Imran Khan told President Trump that a peaceful neighborhood is priority of Pakistan foreign policy because if there is peace and stability then Pakistan can make progress by utilizing treasure of its manpower.

About Afghan peace process Qureshi said what challenges Afghanistan was facing had several reasons. There are internal causes which should not be overlooked. Considerable betterment has come in our share. Its latest example is the peaceful polls held therein in last week.

He stated that President Trump appreciated Pakistan endeavors for peace and stability in Afghanistan and he urged for taking the steps for promotion of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

He underlined before our coming to power US administration had evolved a policy wherein the allegation regarding Afghan issue was placed on Pakistan.

The talks between the two leaders on the matters related to bilateral trade was most propitious aspect, he said adding Pakistan had complaints that US looks at it only through Afghan lenses.

He told the journalists PM Imran Khan made it clear before President Trump that Pakistan needs trade, not aid because trade will generate the job opportunities

On what matters both the sides agreed during these meetings that it was decided to work out a mechanism for future talks between US and Pakistan,. he pointed out,.

When asked if the matter of FATF came under discussion during Imran-Trump meeting he said PM Imran Khan had repeatedly said that the one of major causes of poverty in the third world countries is money laundering. PM said that US should support Pakistan for curbing this menace and he also talked about it during the meeting with Trump.

He said “ you know what is our commitment on the issue of bankrolling terrorists. A political will is there in the incumbent government on this count. We have taken multiple measures including freezing the assets of terrorist organizations in this regard.