ISLAMABAD: Peace will elude Afghanistan and the region at large without the involvement of Pakistan, a leading American lawmaker has acknowledged.
McCain, a former US presidential runner and head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said during a visit to Islamabad on Sunday. “We will not have peace in the region without Pakistan.”
After meetings with Pakistan’s foreign policy advisor Sartaj Aziz, and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the influential US senator said: “Our relationship is more important perhaps than ever before.”
For his part, Aziz claimed the strategic partnership between Pakistan and the United States was “critical to achieve peace and stability in the region and beyond.”
The McCain-led delegation included Senators Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren and David Perdue.
He told the state-run TV that Pakistan had a significant role in the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan. “Peace and stability in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan’s help.”
McCain commended the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism. Continued engagement with Pakistan, a close friend and ally of the US, was important, he said.
The delegates were informed terrorist networks had been dismantled and their sanctuaries eliminated, Aziz said. “The dividend of these policies is empirically verifiable,” he added.
Pakistan remained committed to supporting efforts for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan said the advisor, who noted the Quadrilateral Coordination Group process could facilitate reconciliation and restore peace in Afghanistan.
He said: “Pakistan look forward to constructive engagement with the United States on all efforts and initiatives that would lead to a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.”