Not walking away, US expresses willingness to address concerns of Pakistan
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells confirmed on Monday that senior US and Pakistani officials will hold a series of meetings in Washington and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua will lead the Pakistani delegation.
“We’re certainly not walking away from Pakistan. There will be very intensive dialogue through both our military and our civilian channels to discuss how we can work together,” Ms Wells said and declared that Pakistan had an important role to play in stabilizing Afghanistan.
Contrary to the popular perception that the suspension of aid to Pakistan would be effective, the US official conceded that the suspension of US security aid to Pakistan had failed to force Islamabad to change its policies.
"We’ve not seen decisive and sustained changes yet in Pakistan’s behavior, but certainly, we are continuing to engage with Pakistan over areas where we think they can play a helpful role in changing the calculus of the Taliban," said Wells.
It bears mentioning that Secretary Janjua headed to Washington on a crucial visit earlier this week to mend the frayed relations between the allies.
Ms Wells said that at the State Department, Secretary Janjua will meet Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, dismissing earlier speculations that the visitors may only meet junior level officials.
Last week, a senior director for South and Central Asia at the White House National Security Council, Lisa Curtis, visited Islamabad to discuss the bilateral issue and Pakistan's efforts against terrorism.
Taliban Urged to Engage in Peace Talks
Alice Wells told reporters she had been struck by Ghani’s proposal regarding peace talks with Taliban, to let them open office in Kabul.
“I heard him offering a dignified process,” she said.
US urges Taliban to consider Afghan president ... 07:57 PM | 6 Mar, 2018
WASHINGTON - The United States on Monday called on the Taliban to consider an offer for peace talks extended by Afghan ...
“This is not a surrender that’s being offered to the Taliban, but a dignified process for reaching a political framework,” she added, noting that the Kabul conference was “really a historic benchmark event.”
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