Says strategic assets secured under foolproof arrangement; nuclear status a deterrence against any external aggression; Pakistan offered unmatched sacrifices in terror war; Pak-US ties advancing on upward trajectory; leaves for US
Monday, October 19, 2015From Print Edition
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday Pakistan is a responsible sovereign nuclear state and its strategic assets are secured under a foolproof arrangement.

“Pakistan’s nuclear status is a deterrence against any external aggression,” the prime minister said in a statement prior to his departure for an official visit to the US.The prime minister said Pakistan honours the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states in terms of bilateral and multilateral relations as equal sovereign partners.

“Being a sovereign country having a strong democratic dispensation, Pakistan has rendered unmatched sacrifices in the war on terror as a front-line state,” the premier said.Even now, he said, Operation Zarb-e-Azb’s success is a manifestation of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to root out terrorism and extremism from each and every nook and corner of the country.

“We are fighting this war to not only ensure the peace and prosperity of our country alone but also to make South Asia, and the region beyond a hub of peace and development,” he said.

Nawaz said Pak-US bilateral relations are satisfactorily advancing on an upward trajectory. “We want to expand and augment the scope of the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue Framework in a multifaceted manner,” the prime minister said.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office spokesman said in response to a question regarding certain speculative comments and articles appearing in the media about the prime minister’s visit to Washington that many of them appear to be an attempt to confuse the readers/listeners and generate controversy, where there is none, on issues of national importance.

He reiterated that the prime minister will be arriving in Washington on October 20 at the invitation of President Obama. The spokesman emphasised that no “deal” is being discussed between the two countries nor has the US made any demands on Pakistan. In any case, he said, history is a testimony to the fact that Nawaz Sharif accepts no demand from any state. He said the premier firmly believes in policies directed at preserving, protecting and promoting Pakistan’s national interests. He said the prime minister’s visit to the United States is aimed at further enhancing and strengthening the relations between the two countries.

Pakistan’s embassy in Washington has also issued a statement about the introduction of a resolution in the US House of Representatives where the visit of Nawaz Sharif has been welcomed.

It said, “We welcome a resolution introduced in the USresolution introduced in the US House of Representatives welcoming prime minister’s forthcoming visit to the United States.”The spokesman for the mission said, “We appreciate that the resolution presents an accurate picture of Pakistan’s fight against terrorism, its enormous sacrifices and its successes achieved through counter-terrorism operations.”

It said an expression of support by representatives of the people of the United States, the resolution conveys friendly sentiments of the American people and endorses the shared desire of the two countries to strengthen their ongoing bilateral cooperation in a range of areas.