ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf
Raza Gilani on Saturday said Pakistan is determined to
root-out extremism and terrorism not because its
friends and allies so desire but because it is the
foremost threat to its security, integrity, economy and
He called for U.S. and Pakistan's other allies
better understanding of the ground realities of the
present security situation in the region and sought
their assistance in building capacity of Pakistan's law
enforcement agencies to combat terrorism.
The Prime Minister expressed these views
talking to the U.S. Senate Delegation headed by Senator
John McCain, and Senator Joe Lieberman and Lindsay O. Graham,
which called on him here at the PM House this afternoon.
The Prime Minister briefed the US Delegation, in detail,
on Pakistan's role against terrorism, the underlining
causes begetting extremism,
his government's efforts to improve relations with all
neighbouring countries and remarkable patience
shown by Pakistan's political leadership to defuse the
situation rather than indulging in jingoistic rhetoric
in the face of all kind of provocations in the
aftermath of Mumbai terrorist attacks.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan remains
committed for having cordial relations with India.
Pakistan, he added had condemned the Mumbai incidents
in strongest possible terms.
It had assured the Indian leadership of its
complete cooperation in investigations of this ghastly
crime and had offered formation of joint commission
headed by the National Security Advisors of the two
sides aided by representatives of their respective
intelligence apparatus, he said.
The Prime Minister while reiterating Pakistan's
resolve not to allow its territory for any terrorist
activity stated that any such attempts would be
He also highlighted the fact that he has taken all
political stakeholders on board on this issue by
hosting an all parties conference on December 2, and
hence the whole nation stood united against this
Senator McCain commended Pakistan's role and
policy against terrorism. He acknowledged Pakistan's
great sacrifices as well as Pakistan's mature reaction
to Mumbai terrorist attacks.
He lauded Pakistan's readiness to cooperate in
every possible way with the Indian government to bring
the perpetrators of those incidents to justice.
He also briefed the Prime Minister on his
delegation's meeting with the PML (N) leadership and
appreciated their positive approach towards this end.
Senator McCain assured the Prime Minister that US
wanted a committed and solid strategic relationship
with Pakistan on long term basis.
While recalling that even during his presidential
campaign, Senator McCain said he had openly voiced his
sentiments against the attempts to violate Pakistan's
He expressed the hope that the new US
administration would also respect Pakistan's
Senator McCain termed the introduction of Presslar
Amendment against Pakistan a mistake which adversely
impacted on the cordial relationship between the armed
forces of the two countries, in the past.
He hoped that under the present leadership, the
two armed forces would be able to restore their
relations and cooperation of 1980s.
Senator McCain further said there was bipartisan
support for Biden-Lugar Bill in the new US Congress. He
undertook to work for its expeditious passage for
providing the urgently required assistance to Pakistan.
He also assured the Prime Minister of his
delegation's support for capacity building of
Pakistan's law enforcement agencies to adequately equip
them to deal with terrorism.
Senators Lieberman and Graham fully endorsed
Senator McCain's views and vowed to jointly write a
letter to the US Senate leadership, on their return,
for taking measures for early passage of the Biden-
Lugar Bill from the Congress.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Defence,
Ch. Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi. US Ambassador Ms.
Anne W Patterson was also present in the meeting.