Pakistan wants trade, not US aid, says Nawaz

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has urged the Obama administration to shift the focus of its relationship with Pakistan away from aid to one based on trade, investment and greater people-to-people contacts.
The former prime minister was talking to Senator Robert Menendez, the newly-elected chairman of the US Senate committee on foreign relations, who called on him at Raiwind on Friday.
During the course of the meeting, the two sides were able to have a comprehensive exchange on a number of issues of mutual interest.
The former prime minister congratulated Senator Menendez on his election to this important office, recalling that his predecessor, Senator John Kerry, who has been appointed as the new secretary of state, had played an important role in promoting US-Pakistan relations.
He added that he was confident that under his guidance, the US policy towards Pakistan would be based on the principle of mutual trust and mutual interest. Nawaz emphasised that Pakistan was an important country in a sensitive region, whose contribution to confronting terrorism and promoting peace and security in South Asia should be recognised and appreciated.
The PML-N chief emphasised that given the complexity of the situation in the region, it was important that the two countries worked closely and in an atmosphere of trust and understanding.
Senator Menendez thanked the former prime minister for the meeting and remarked that the US had deep respect for him and for his contribution to strengthening democracy in Pakistan. He added that the US was following closely developments in Pakistan leading up to the forthcoming elections.
“This would be an important event, as it would mark the first peaceful transition from one elected government to another elected one, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution,” the senator added.

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