ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – A five member United States delegation has arrived in Islamabad to discuss the country’s strained ties with Pakistan.
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The visit comes on the back of two major developments, a drone strike that killed Mullah Mansour in Balochistan and America’s support for India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), which have caused ties between the two nations to reach the current low point.
The US delegation is led by Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at US National Security Council Peter Lavoy and US special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Olson.
The delegation will hold meetings with Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership including the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.
Sartaj Aziz has announced plans to protest over the drone strike on Mullah Mansour in Balochistan during the meeting. According to Islamabad, the latest drone strike has adversely affected peace efforts of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group on Afghanistan and was a clear violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Aziz also said that Pakistan will also raise the issue of American support to India for membership of NSG, further adding that there should be no discriminatory approach over granting membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group to non-NPT countries.
Aziz said that Pakistan is also a strong contender to obtain membership of Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), however the United States is not supporting Pakistan in the same way it is supporting India.
The US delegation’s visit to Pakistan is the first high level contact between the two countries after the Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour’s killing in a US drone attack in Balochistan last month.