Washington: A senior American lawmaker has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives welcoming next week’s visit to the United States of “democratically elected” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and encouraging and supporting ongoing US-Pakistan cooperation in various fields.

The resolution was introduced by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who is the chairman of Congressional Pakistan Caucus. The text has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It called PM Sharif a symbol of the first successful democratic transition in Pakistani history and backs strengthening of the democratic process in Pakistan.

The resolution “encourages and supports ongoing cooperation between the United States and Pakistan in a range of areas, including security, economic development, strengthening of democratic institutions, education, and trade.”

Pointing out that Pakistanis have been victim of attacks by Al-Qaeda and other terror networks and over 50,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives in these attacks; the resolution said Pakistan has undertaken successful military operations against militants in the border areas at a huge material and human cost.

Sharif is leading implementation of a National Action Plan to defeat terrorism so that all Pakistani communities, including religious and ethnic minorities, can live safely.

There are tremendous opportunities to enhance people-to-people exchanges between Pakistan and the United States through trade, education and development, it said.

Noting that in the past decade the US has extended support and assistance to Pakistan to meet its security and economic challenges; the resolution expresses solidarity with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against terrorism.

Supporting strengthening of the democratic process in Pakistan; the resolution reaffirms friendship and strategic partnership with a democratic Pakistan.

During his visit, Sharif will meet President Barack Obama on Oct 22.

A Pakistan Embassy spokesman welcomed the resolution. “We appreciate that the resolution presents an accurate picture of Pakistan’s fight against terrorism, its enormous sacrifices and its successes achieved through counter-terrorism operations,” spokesman Nadeem Hotiana said.

“As an expression of support by Honourable Representatives of the people of the United States, the resolution conveys friendly sentiments of the American people and endorses the shared desire of the two countries to strengthen their ongoing bilateral cooperation in a range of areas.”–Special Correspondent