US Senator John Kerry telephones PM Gilani

ISLAMABAD, Sep 30 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani talked to Senator John Kerry, Chairman of US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations over telephone on Thursday evening and conveyed Pakistan’s concern over increased drone attacks and NATO helicopter strikes inside Pakistan’s territory in the last few days.He also conveyed the unanimous condemnation of the attacks by the Parliament.The Prime Minister informed Senator John Kerry, who had made the telephone call to Gilani, that his statement published in the daily New York Times was not well taken in Pakistan.

Such statement, he mentioned, would only serve to create misperceptions about friendly bilateral relations. The Prime Minister emphasized upon greater economic and defence cooperation among both the countries in order to strengthen the strategic partnership.

He appreciated the US financial assistance including provision of helicopters during the relief and rescue operations in the flood hit areas of Pakistan and thanked for commitment to support in the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase.
He further mentioned that National Oversight Disaster Management Council has been established with consensus which would ensure transparency in the utilization of funds.

Despite the devastation caused by floods and the economic difficulties, the Prime Minister said, Pakistan stands committed in confronting terrorism and extremism which has immensely damaged our economy and social fabric.
In order to strengthen and streamline the economy, he added, stringent measures have been taken including the economic reforms process, on which national consensus is being developed.
Senator John Kerry assured complete support to Pakistan in facing the challenges emanating out of devastating floods.

He apprised the Prime Minister that US will be sending more helicopters to facilitate in the relief and rehabilitation operations. He appreciated Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism and expressed confidence that the bilateral relations would increase to better understanding and cooperation – APP