Haqqani Brings Top US Leaders to Qureshi-KayaniDinner



Washington, DC: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani was able to attract top American Congressional, administration and military leaders to a dinner on Monday evening that symbolized the cohesion of Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership, the visiting Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani being the co-guests of honour.

US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers including Senator Richard Lugar, co-sponsor of a landmark measure on expanding economic assistance for Pakistan, Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Sylvester Reyes, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senator Ben Nelson of the Armed Services Committee were among the political glitterati who attended the reception.

“The US and Pakistan are partners and allies, against the forces of terror,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani told the gathering while citing close relationship between the two countries for a secure future in the region and the world.

“The Pakistani leadership has a firm resolve to address the problem of violent extremism,” he said, adding the country was not fighting a surrogate war but fighting for its soul because “it is our women, children and soldiers who are dying.”

The democratically-elected Pakistani leaders, its professional armed forces and intelligence organizations are on the same page with regard to implementing the agenda of the government, he stated. Haqqani also noted that the partnership between Pakistan and the United States was based on shared democratic values.

Representing the Pentagon at the event were US Air Chief General Norton Schwartz, Naval Chief Admiral Gary Roughead, Commandant Marine Corps General Conway and Director DSCA Vice Admiral Jeffrey A Wieringa.

Congressman Gary Ackerman, Chairman of a House sub-committee on Foreign Affairs, Representative Chris Van Hollen, who is spearheading legislative efforts to allow Reconstruction Opportunity Zones, Senator Shelden Whitehouse, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher, senior National Security Council and intelligence officials were among the personalities who attended the event.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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