Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan valued its long-standing relationship with the United States and wanted to further deepen bilateral cooperation based on mutual respect, trust and equality.
During a meeting with US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the capital Islamabad onWednesday, the premier highlighted that constructive engagement between the two countries could help promote peace, security and development in the region, according to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).
Ilhan Omar, who made history as one of the first two Muslim women elected to the US Congress, arrived in Islamabad early Wednesday on a four-day visit to the South Asain country.
She met a host of important figures including President Dr Arif Alvi, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, National Assembly (NA) Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar. The US lawmaker will stay in Pakistan till April 24 and is scheduled to visit historic city of Lahore and Azad Kashmir.
Appreciating her courage, convictions and political struggle, the prime minister warmly welcomed the US Congresswoman on her first-ever visit to Pakistan.
He hoped that it would lead to deepening people-to-people ties and strengthen exchanges between Pakistan’s parliament and the US Congress.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar thanked the prime minister and also hoped that her visit to Pakistan would help strengthen ties between Pakistan and the US Congress.
During her meeting with the prime minister, matters of mutual interest including Pakistan-US bilateral relations as well as the regional situation were discussed, APP reported.
Maintaining that the US was Pakistan’s largest trading partner, the premier emphasised the need to further enhance cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of trade and investment.
He lauded the efforts of the Pakistani diaspora in reinforcing the Pakistan-US ties and added that Pakistan deeply valued their contribution to national development and growth.
PM Shehbaz highlighted the serious human rights situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir and stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute that would enable the region to realise its economic potential and promote social progress.
He emphasised that a peaceful and stable South Asian region could focus on its growth and development.
Shehbaz also urged that concerted global efforts were needed to deal with the scourge of Islamophobia.
In her meeting with former Prime Minister and ChairmanPTI Imran TKhan at his Bani Gala residence, Ilhan Omar discussed Islamophobia and other related issues. She expressed her admiration for the former prime minister and his work for Muslims globally, according to PTI leader, Shireen Mazari.
Omar also met NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf who said that “enhancing parliament to parliament contacts is vital for strengthening Pak-US relations.”
Ashraf appreciated Omar’s work for ensuring the fundamental rights of minorities, especially women and children in the US, and invited US Congress members to Pakistan in order to strengthen ties.
The US lawmaker said her country would continue to support Pakistan, especially in the fields of education, health & women empowerment. She also invited the speaker to visit the US congress to improve parliamentary contacts between the two countries.