Washington D.C: Contrary to the presumptions based on nuclear ambitions of Pakistan and its intent on setting up an agenda of India-talks with the US President, the topic of India debate did not find centre place in the discussions between the two heads of their respective states, President Barack Obama, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during Sharif’s visit to the US. Public statements certainly did not mention India, as India did not figure at least in the public comments made by US President Barack Obama and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the two met in Obama’s Oval Office after two years.
Welcoming Mr Sharif to the White House, Obama said he looked forward to using the meeting as an opportunity to further deepen the longstanding relationship between the US and Pakistan.’Obviously, the United States and Pakistan have a longstanding relationship. We work and cooperate on a whole host of issues — not just on security matters, but also on economic and scientific and educational affairs. And we’re looking forward to using this meeting as an opportunity to further deepen the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, he said.
Praising an extraordinary Pakistani-American community that is helping to build the country, Obama said – Those people-to-people ties are part of what makes this relationship so special.
Nawaz Sharif thanked Obama for having him as the Washington guest and said, ‘Pakistan-America relations stand over 70 years’, and it would be his endeavor to further strengthen and solidify this relationship. He assured that Pakistan looked forward to a very constructive engagement with Obama in adding greater substance and depth to the mutual relationship. Sharif went with his delegation which included Pakistan Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.
Earlier Sharif met US Vice President Joe Biden over breakfast and discussed regional, political and security issues, particularly the cooperation on war against terrorism.
Ahead of his meeting with Obama, Sharif had sought to shift the focus of talks to India rather than counter-terrorism and safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons highlighted by US. He told US senators on Wednesday that US would be the most relevant third party that could intervene to help resolve outstanding issues including Kashmir between India and Pakistan. According to a statement issued by Sharif’s Office cited by Pakistani media, the PM briefed members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee about his recent peace initiative towards India announced in the UN General Assembly.
Pakistan on Wednesday also handed over three dossiers to US Secretary of State John Kerry about alleged Indian involvement in subversive activities in the country. The dossiers were handed over to Kerry when he called on Sharif at the Blair House, who got briefed by sharif about the alleged destabilizing role of Indian agencies in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan and Karachi.