PM-Departure PM heads home from New York “fully satisfied”

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi left here for home at the end of a very hectic schedule in which he highlighted Pakistan’s vital role and strong stance against terrorism in his meetings with leaders and at the UN General Assembly.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his maiden visit to the United Nations had back to back engagements that included meetings with several world leaders, media interactions, speeches at the General Assembly and OIC Contact Group.

The Prime Minister was upbeat about his visit and said it gave him an opportunity to not only discuss bilateral matters with leaders of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Sri Lanka, but also to present Pakistan’s case better to the world.

In an informal chat with President Trump at a reception hosted at the iconic Palace Hotel, Abbasi had a handshake and informed him that Pakistan was “partner with the US” in the war against terror.

The Prime Minister said he got a positive response both from Trump and earlier in his meeting with the Vice President Mike Pence, which led to an understanding between the two sides to continue dialogue to clear misperceptions.

“No one has given more sacrifices than us” he told the 193 member world body in his address at the General Assembly.

Spelling out Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan at the 72nd Session of the General Assembly Prime Minister said his country was not prepared to fight the Afghan war on Pakistan’s soil.

The Prime Minister also demanded of the United Nations Secretary General for expeditious steps towards the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir and called for appointment of a Special Envoy to promote a just and peaceful settlement of the decades old dispute between India and Pakistan.?

“The international community must act decisively to prevent the situation from a dangerous escalation,” the Prime Minister said.

Abbasi said a dossier detailing atrocities by the Indian occupational forces against the Kashmiris struggling for their right of self determination were also handed over to the UN Secretary General.

The Prime Minister told the General Assembly that Pakistan was ready to resolve all outstanding issues with India, however linked it with “ an end to India’s campaign of subversion and state sponsored terrorism against Pakistan, including from across our western border.”

The Prime Minister also interacted with top US investors and businessmen at a luncheon specially hosted by the US-Pakistan Business Council. He apprised them about the encouraging business environment in Pakistan that offered lucrative returns and security of investment.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi told reporter that the Prime Minister was “fully satisfied” with his visit as it helped put the estranged ties with the United States back on track.

In a talk on the challenges facing the country and the way forward, here at the Council of Foreign Relations, the Prime Minister rejected the perception created by the US President Donald Trump while announcing his new policy on South Asia and Afghanistan.

Abbasi told the participants that Pakistan was the only country that was fully engaged against the extremists and terrorists with over 200,000 troops involved.

“We have taken the war to the terrorists and are in the final stages of wiping out their few remaining hideouts,” he said.

His other engagements included meetings with the heads of World Bank, World Economic Forum and the UN Secretary-General.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif would stay in the United States for few more days to interact with senior US officials.

The Prime Minister was seen off by Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi and Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry.

The Prime Minister would stop over in London and meet former Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif before leaving for Islamabad.