McCain calls Pakistan a 'close' friend, ally of US

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US wants end to violence in Kashmir, says McCain

"Peace and stability in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan's help", Senator John McCain told state-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) during his visit to Islamabad.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is exploring hardening its approach towards Islamabad over Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in Afghanistan, two U.S. officials told Reuters last month.

The U.S. senators held extensive talks at the foreign ministry where Pakistani side was led by foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz, said an official statement after the meeting.

The five-member delegation led my Senator John McCain visited Pakistan days after the U.S. blacklisted Syed Salahuddin, the chief of Kashmiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, as a "global terrorist".

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The two sides agreed on the importance of security cooperation and coordination between Pakistan and Afghanistan, said a military statement late Sunday. An official, who attended the meeting, told Pakistan Today that the United States congressmen looked keen in revival of peace efforts in Afghanistan and asked Pakistan to come up with its suggestions to normalise situation in Afghanistan. Adviser noted that QCG process remains a credible and effective vehicle to facilitate reconciliation and restore peace, stability and economic prosperity in Afghanistan.

Aziz said that Pakistan wants good relations with all countries, but national interests will always be given priority. An official handout said that welcoming the USA senators, the adviser reiterated the importance of regular high-level contacts and particularly appreciated McCain, Graham and Whitehouse for their continued engagement and regular visits to Pakistan to promote understanding and cooperation.

The official source said that the United States delegation urged Pakistan and India to resolve all extraordinary issues through talks.

According to the Foreign Office, the adviser underscored the significance of the longstanding cooperation between the two countries and the need to make this partnership diverse and multidimensional.

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The joint statement issued after the Trump-Modi visit gave the impression as if the U.S. has chose to depart from its traditional position on Kashmir.

During the meeting, Aziz said that the strategic partnership between Pakistan and the USA is of utmost importance to achieve peace and stability in the region.

In the meeting, he also raised concern over the alleged "human rights violations" in Kashmir and "international community s silence" on the issue.

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