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Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif chairs high-level meeting

Visit to United States and peace talks with militants discussed

Gulf News

Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a high-level meeting here on Tuesday, which an official statement said reviewed the overall security situation in the country.

Sources said the prime minister’s forthcoming visit to Washington for talks with US President Barack Obama and the government’s planned peace dialogue with militants waging an insurgency in the tribal region were also discussed during the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, prime minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and Special Assistant to the prime minister, Tariq Fatemi.

Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam were also present.

Prime Minister Sharif is due to meet President Obama in Washington on October 23.

The White House had announced Sharif’s visit after a recent meeting between the Pakistani leader and US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The announcement had said that President Obama “looks forward to discussions with Prime Minister Sharif on ways we can advance our shared interest of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan.”

It also said that the visit will highlight “the importance and resilience of the US-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, such as energy, trade and economic development, regional stability, and countering violent extremism.”