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[Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria addresses weekly press briefing in Islamabad]

President Donald Trump has praised release of an American family long held by Taliban calling it a "positive moment" for U.S. relations with Pakistan. In a statement, he hopes to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in future joint counterterrorism operations. Foreign Office spokesperson has once again made it clear that any expanded Indian role in Afghanistan will not be in the interest of the region. Thursday's meeting with the US delegation remained highly constructive and fruitful. Meanwhile, Pakistan and United States have agreed to continue discussions on all matters of mutual interest for bilateral cooperation and peace in the region. The understanding to this effect came during a delegation level talk in Islamabad.  

Analysts on Telephone

Abdullah Gul (Defense Analyst): 

We never underestimate the capabilities of our security forces. Pakistani security forces took an immediate action to rescue the foreign hostages who have been in captivity of Taliban for the last five years. Donald Trump has also appreciated Pakistani government for safely rescuing the North American family. The operation was carried out with the help of US intelligence sharing. Pakistan needs to review its policies regarding relations with United States .

Dr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan (IR Expert):

Pakistan and United States are engaged to deescalate the prevailing tensions and eliminate misunderstandings between two countries.  Both the countries are well aware about the importance of each other in international politics. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also extended an invitation to Secretary Tillerson to visit Pakistan that was accepted. Although, United States has keen interests in India and wants India to play role in Afghanistan yet Pakistan has once again made it clear that any expanded Indian role in Afghanistan will not be in the interest of the region.

Rana Athar Javed (Defense Analyst):

The law enforcement agencies of our country are successfully defending the integrity of the country from the elements involved in efforts to destabilize Pakistan. The international recognition of Pakistan’s role in war against terrorism will have positive impact on the morale of our forces. Pakistan has endured huge financial loss and also rendered many sacrifices in this regard.

UK Army Chief acknowledges Pakistan Army's Achievements in fight against terrorism

Meanwhile, Chief of General Staff UK Army General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter called on Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi on today. The visiting dignitary acknowledged Pakistan Army's achievements in fight against terrorism and continued efforts for peace and stability in the region. The United Kingdom greatly appreciates Pakistan's sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.  

Oil and Gas exploration: Completion of power projects to bring prosperity and development to the country 

[Prime Minister has inaugurated oil and gas well project in Attock district]

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says development in the country is only possible when there is democracy. He was speaking after inauguration of oil and gas well project Jhandial-one at Jhandial in Attock today. No other force other than democracy can deliver in the country. Development projects have been completed in all sectors including economy, infrastructure and energy in all parts of the country. During the last four years more than ten thousand megawatt energy has been included in the national grid.

Sheikh Aftab Ahmed (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs):

Allah Almighty has blessed Pakistan with many natural resources. PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated an oil and gas well project Jhandial-one at Jhandial in Attock that could provide uninterruptable gas to Rawalpindi and Islamabad for 24 hours. It is a big achievement of the incumbent government that it has managed to add 10000MW electricity in National Grid in only four years. PM in his address has urged to work for strengthening democracy in the country. 

Host: Arshad Malik


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