Prime Minister’s US Visit Satisfactory Despite No Major Breakthrough

In the joint statement following the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it was stated that cooperation between the two countries will continue for promotion of democratic principles. In the course of the meeting, concerns were expressed over violations at the line of control* and an agreement was announced on holding discussions for solving the Kashmir issue.

Great hopes had been placed on Prime Minister Sharif’s U.S. visit; at the same time, grave concerns had also been voiced from some quarters. In our assessment, Pakistan undoubtedly succeeded in presenting its case before America regarding interference by India in Pakistan and India’s backing of terrorists. Evidence for this, already submitted to the United Nations, has now been provided to the United States.

The prime minister and other ministers claim that the issue of Kashmir was raised very forcefully by them, and there is no doubt that the issue was, in fact, raised during the course of the visit. However, the U.S. response regarding India’s interference in Pakistan and regarding the Kashmir issue was not what Pakistan was hoping for. On the Kashmir issue, the U.S. came up with the usual, hackneyed response of there being a “need for discussions”; on the matter of Indian interference in Pakistan, also, the United States provided no assurance.

From Pakistan’s perspective, the visit was successful in that the U.S. did not stress mitigation of Pakistan’s nuclear program or reduction of small arms; credit for this definitely goes to Pakistan’s media and, after that, to good diplomacy. When the issue was raised by Pakistan’s media, the adviser for foreign affairs, the secretary for foreign affairs, and the defense minister adopted the categorical stance that there would be no compromise on Pakistan’s nuclear program.

The U.S. visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not marked by any major breakthrough; nevertheless, the visit may be described as satisfactory.

*Editor’s note: The line of control is a military control line that divides the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of Kashmir.

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