'Pakistan to intensify campaign to highlight Indian atrocities in Kashmir'

'Pakistan to intensify campaign to highlight Indian atrocities in Kashmir'

The US senator declared Pakistan's role as crucial for bringing stability in neighbouring Afghanistan.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is exploring hardening its approach towards Islamabad over Pakistan-based militants launching attacks in Afghanistan, two U.S. officials told Reuters last month.

According to Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, McCain, leading a five-senator delegation in the capital Islamabad, made the remarks during a meeting with Pakistani foreign policy adviser Sartaj Aziz.

The United States Senator John McCain on Sunday said USA wanted end to violence in Kashmir, ARY News reported.

Pakistan angrily reacted to the US decision to include a Kashmiri leader Syed Salahuddin in the list of foreign terrorists.

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The delegation included John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren, and David Perdue.

Thanking the adviser on behalf of the delegation, Senator McCain appreciated the contributions and sacrifices made by Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

Washington has long considered Kashmir as a dispute between Pakistan and India and in the past avoided taking sides while urging the two nuclear-armed neighbours to resolve the issue bilaterally. "They agreed with the need for Pakistan and the United States to forge closer cooperation in confronting the peace and security challenges in the region and beyond", an official handout said.

"Pakistan looked forward to constructive engagement with the USA on all efforts and initiatives that would lead to a stable and prosperous Afghanistan", he said.

He also asked how Afghan Taliban could join the peace process.

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He said that continued engagement with Pakistan, a close friend and ally of the United States, was important. An official handout said that welcoming the U.S. senators, the adviser reiterated the importance of regular high-level contacts and particularly appreciated McCain, Graham and Whitehouse for their continued engagement and regular visits to Pakistan to promote understanding and cooperation.

"There is no change in US policy on Kashmir".

Pakistan and the USA strategic partnership was critical to achieve peace and stability in the region and beyond, the official quoted the adviser as saying.

He noted that Islamabad was also ready to strengthen and deepen its partnership with Washington to counter "the expanding footprint in the region" of Islamic State terrorists.

He said "India is involved in gross human rights violations in the held territory but it has failed to suppress the voice of Kashmiris through the use of brutal force".

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