LAHORE (Umer Shami/ Usman Shami) -Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that during his US visit he will remind President Barack Obama of President Clinton’s promise to play an active role for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. During his visit in 1999, then President Bill Clinton had promised to ’take personal interest in encouraging bilateral efforts to resolve the disputes between the two countries, including Kashmir’ in the joint declaration issued at the time.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that United States will also play its role to maintain the balance of power in South Asia. “Peace in the region is vital for progress and US can play the part of an honest broker to bring both parties to table for resolution of all pending issue including Kashmir”.  These views were expressed by the PM, at his residence in Lahore during an exclusive talk with Daily Pakistan’s editorial board, prior to his US visit. Marium Nawaz Sharif was also present during the interview.

Highlighting the importance and significance of his visit, Prime Minister stressed that Pakistan is playing its role for political stability in Afghanistan and hopes for longterm peace in the neighboring country as it will have positive effects on Pakistan also. ‘’We fully support the peace talks between Afghan government and the Taliban, and United States has also expressed similar wishes”, PM Nawaz said. He stressed that all parties should cooperate to overcome obstructions in the path of peace process.

PM Nawaz also said Pakistan would never allow its land to be used for interference in any other country. He revealed that after Ashraf Ghani came to power, there was an understanding between the Afghan and Pakistani government to not to indulge in “media wars” and Pakistan has taken special care to abide by it. Both sides should resolve the differences through mutual cooperation and dialogue, he added.

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Regarding the Pak-US relations, PM Nawaz said that the relationship is following a positive trajectory and level of mutual trust has risen significantly over the last two years. “Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism are being lauded and sacrifices acknowledged in the US”, he said.

He expressed desire for increased military and economic ties between the two countries while maintaining that Pakistan wants trade, not aid from the US. “Pakistan wants access to United States’ markets for industry’s growth and to generate employment opportunities in the country”, the PM said.

Prime Minister also highlighted “Pakistan wants good relations on equal footings with all global players, and first time in country’s history Foreign Policy is focused on increasing political and economic ties with all world powers.” He also added that Economic corridor project with China is part of his government’s vision to turn Pakistan into a global economic power.

He revealed that the vision of Pak China Economic Corridor had started taking shape in his mind even before the assumption of PM office. “When I discussed this idea with the Chinese Leadership, I was happily surprised that they shared the same economic vision and I took it upon myself to make this dream a reality”, he added.

He was brimming with confidence and seemed satisfied with the progress of numerous power and infrastructure projects undertaken by his government. “Our Political opponents have been badly exposed in the eyes of the public, and efforts of the government have started bearing fruits”. Prime Minister repeated his promise to overcome the energy crises before the end of his term in 2018.