Pakistan seeks broad, long term partnership with US; PM chairs NSC meet on Afghanistan

Pakistan has been seeking “broad-ranging, long-term and stable relations” with the United States to promote economic cooperation and establish peace in the region, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said during a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan

Oct 08, 2021
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Pakistan seeks broad, long term partnership with US

Pakistan has been seeking “broad-ranging, long-term and stable relations” with the United States to promote economic cooperation and establish peace in the region, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said during a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations, Afghanistan, and the regional situation during the meeting, according to a statement from the Foreign Office. A proper dialogue between the two countries was "necessary" for mutual benefit Qureshi said, adding it will also promote their regional objectives, according to the statement.

“In the current situation, there is a need for proper steps by the international community to ensure positive inclusion, provision of humanitarian aid and financial resources [to set up] a stable economy to solve the problems of the Afghan public," Qureshi was quoted as saying in the meeting.

Sherman, in a tweet later, said she discussed Afghanistan's future and the important and long-standing US-Pakistan relationship with Qureshi during the meeting.

"We look forward to continuing to address pressing regional and global challenges," she added.

Prior to her visit to Pakistan, Sherman held extensive wide-ranging discussions with Indian officials in New Delhi. 

At an event in Mumbai at the Ananta Aspen Centre, Sherman said, “We don’t see ourselves building a broad relationship with Pakistan and we have no interest in returning to the days of a hyphenated India, Pakistan. That’s not where we are, that isn’t where we are going to be.” She also said her visit was for a "very specific and narrow purpose" of ensuring security for the region, and including India and the US.

In a recent Foreign Policy brief, its South Asia analyst Michael Kugelman wrote: “Recent conversations with the US\ officials suggest Washington’s position toward the Taliban will considerably shape bilateral ties with Pakistan. If the United States doesn’t recognize the Taliban regime or engage with them, it may look to Pakistan as a key go-between.” 

However, overflights rights for over the horizon operations in Afghanistan and intelligence cooperations would require for the US to maintain a working relationship with Islamabad, he argued. 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday held a meeting of the National Security Council and discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the matters related to national security. 

Terming the situation in Afghanistan “extremely complex”, the statement said it could have “serious implications” for Pakistan.   

(SAM)