ISLAMABAD – Senior US officials are visiting Pakistan from tomorrow (Monday), the foreign office spokesperson confirmed on Sunday.
According to Pakistan's Foreign Office, the upcoming interactions between Pakistani and American officials are part of the dialogue over a range of issues.
The US State Department has confirmed the visit of Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes to Pakistan on Friday. She would be in Islamabad for a series of meetings from December 4 to 7.
The purpose of her visit is to discuss “shared efforts to protect vulnerable individuals and accelerate safe, efficient relocation and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US immigration pipeline”.
The visits by US officials to Pakistan come weeks after Pakistan launched a deportation drive against “illegal immigrants” for security reasons, affecting the lives of a number of Afghans who left their homeland after the Taliban swept back to power after US and NATO troops pulled out of the war-ravaged country in August 2020.
The US government urged the Pakistani authorities not to repatriate people who actively collaborated with its forces in Afghanistan, fearing reprisals from the Taliban administration.
“Pakistan and the United States continue to hold consultations on a range of issues,” foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement. “To advance these consultations, exchange of visits also takes place.”
She identified three US officials, noting that Noyes’ visit would be followed by Special US Representative on Afghanistan Tom West, scheduled to be in Pakistan from December 7 to 9, and then by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst, who plans to visit Islamabad from December 9 to 12.
“These visits are part of ongoing dialogue with the US on a range of issues including, but not limited to, the situation in Afghanistan,” Baloch added.
Pakistan’s arrest and deportation of Afghan nationals has been criticized by a number of international rights organizations amid harassment complaints by registered refugees.
The US has also asked Pakistan to fulfill its obligations toward asylum seekers from Afghanistan seeking international protection after entering its territory.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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