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Sharif discusses US trip agenda with top aides

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif concluded on Friday his preparations for the Washington trip with yet another round of consultations with his top foreign policy and security aides.“We had comprehensive discussion on the US visit and efforts for reviving the Afghan reconciliation process, besides reviewing the progress on the implementation of National Action Plan on counter-terrorism,” one of the participants of the meeting said.The Prime Minister’s Office, meanwhile, said in a statement that the meeting chaired by Mr Sharif reviewed “the internal security situation of the country”.
Obama to be informed about steps taken for revival of Afghan peace process

The premier held at least two similar consultative sessions over the past eight days — one of which was exclusively with his key ministers, while the other bigger one involved the military. The Friday meeting was attended by a smaller group. Those in attendance were Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif, Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi, military spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa and senior government officials.

Mr Sharif will visit the US from Oct 20 to 23.

Besides the discussion on the US proposal for Pakistan’s nuclear mainstreaming, which has emerged as the biggest issue on agenda, Mr Sharif would be telling President Obama about what Pakistan is doing to help restart the reconciliation process that stalled after disclosure about Mullah Omar’s death, and also about what his government was doing to fight terrorism at home.

“Next week, I will host Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan, and I will continue to urge all parties in the region to press the Taliban to return to peace talks and to do their part in pursuit of the peace that Afghans deserve,” President Obama said on Thursday.

The prime minister had announced last Saturday that the government had started fresh efforts for the resumption of Afghan peace dialogue, whose inaugural round was held in Murree in July.

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