The Pakistan Army and the Government must be in a state of shock by the way their country’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was snubbed by the US.
Successive heads of state of Pakistan loved to rake-up the issue of Kashmir with the US and declare to the world the “backing” of the US. However, this time, Washington has cold-shouldered every move of Mr Sharif.
Kashmir and violence along the LoC on Thursday (October 22) figured in a joint statement issued by US President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, both of whom called for a “sustained and resilient” Indo-Pak dialogue process to resolve all outstanding issues.
Obama and Sharif underlined that improvement in Pakistan-India bilateral relations would “greatly enhance” prospects for lasting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, according to the statement.
The two leaders also expressed concern over violence along the Line of Control, and pledged their support for confidence-building measures and “effective mechanisms” that are acceptable to both parties, it said.
“The leaders emphasised the importance of a sustained and resilient dialogue process between the two neighbours aimed at resolving all outstanding territorial and other disputes, including Kashmir, through peaceful means and working together to address mutual concerns of India and Pakistan regarding terrorism,” the statement said.
Sharif apprised Obama about Pakistan’s resolve to take “effective action” against United Nations-designated terrorist individuals and entities, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its affiliates, as per its international commitments and obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.
The statement was released soon after Sharif and Obama held their bilateral talks at the White Office’s Oval Office.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on Friday (October 23) heckled by a protester who demanded to free the restive Balochistan province where activists say army is engaged in abductions, torture and killings.
As Sharif began delivering his address at the US Institute of Peace, a prominent independent think-tank here, a protester raised slogans including “Free Balochistan” besides calling him a “friend of (Osama) Bin Laden”.
The man was also holding a poster that read “Free Baluchistan”. He was taken out of the auditorium by the security forces following the incident that forced the visiting premier, Sharif, to pause briefly and then resume his address.
The army has fought separatist Baloch militants on several occasions during much of Pakistan’s existence. The latest wave of insurgency was triggered after the Pakistan Army, under the direction of the then President General Parvez Musharraf, bombed and killed elderly Baloch tribal chief Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006.