John McCain lauds Pakistan’s role in terror fight
ISLAMABAD: US Senator John McCain lauded on Sunday Pakistan’s anti-terror efforts and expressed satisfaction over the improved security situation in North Waziristan and adjoining areas.
“Senator McCain and his colleagues deeply appreciated the enormous success achieved by Pakistan in its counterterrorism campaign,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
The delegation headed by Senator McCain met Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad.
As part of the visit, McCain travelled to Miranshah, the capital of the restive North Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan.
The region was effectively run by groups such as the TTP and the Haqqani network until the military launched operations against them in 2014.
“I was very impressed with the progress (on the ground),” said McCain, who is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I see us working together in confronting a common challenge – radical Islamic terrorism – and these kinds of meetings are very helpful to both those countries,” McCain added.
Relations between Pakistan and United States have been
frayed over the past decade. Ties were tested again in May by a US drone strike that killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan.
Meanwhile, Aziz said Pakistan will keep playing its role for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.
Pak-Afghan relations hold key to regional peace, General Raheel tells US
He reiterated the importance of regular high-level contact between the US and Pakistan, adding parliamentary exchanges were particularly useful to understand each other’s perspective.
The delegation, on the other hand, stressed Pak-US relations have maintained their strategic dimension over the decades, and the relationship would retain its vigor in the years ahead.
Earlier on Saturday, McCain met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif at the GHQ.
Seeks better ties in terror fight
McCain said he would like relations between United States and Pakistan to improve as they have a common enemy in the Islamic State and other radical groups.
The senator said he had an “excellent meeting” with foreign ministry officials.
“We come back with a message that we have a common enemy in ISIS, radical Islam and terrorism, and we look forward to closer relations and resolving the differences we have,” McCain told PTV.