Pakistan’s support critical to success of US Afghan strategy: Alice Wells

Islamabad, January 15, 2018 (PPI-OT):The United States has expressed desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of stabilizing Afghanistan. The desire was conveyed by US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells while talking to Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in Islamabad on Monday.

The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State said as an immediate neighbour and important country of the region, Pakistan’s support is critical to the success of the US strategy for Afghanistan. She underlined the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation between the two sides to improve coordination in counter-terrorism efforts. Ambassador Alice Wells also acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in eradicating terrorism. Tehmina Janjua underscored that Pakistan-US relationship need to move forward under an environment of mutual trust and respect.

The US delegation was apprised about recent counter-terrorism actions taken by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies that contributed to visible improvement in the security situation of Pakistan. It was mentioned that these comprehensive counter-terrorism actions will also contribute towards peace and stability in the entire region. In the context of the regional situation, the Foreign Secretary expressed concerns on the continued use of Afghan soil by elements hostile to Pakistan’s stability. She said that strengthening border management mechanisms between Pakistan and Afghanistan are vital to addressing concerns relating to cross border movements.

She emphasized early repatriation of Afghan refugees is also important for improving relations with Afghanistan. The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue its efforts for promoting peace and stability in the region. The Foreign Secretary drew the attention of the US delegation to the recent irresponsible statement by the Indian Army Chief and the pattern of escalation by India on the LoC and the working boundary and condemned the Indian use of IEDs resulting in the martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers last night. She asked the US side to advise restraint to India and stop its escalation tactics.

The two sides agreed that all initiatives owned and led by the Afghans for seeking a peaceful solution should be supported by the regional countries. The US Acting Assistant Secretary of State also called on Adviser on Finance Miftah Ismail in Islamabad on Monday, and discussed current state of Pak-US ties with particular emphasis on economic cooperation.

The Advisor said relations between Pakistan and the United States have been affected by certain recent developments and it is important to remove the misperceptions. He assured that the government will support for business community’s efforts aimed at furthering Pak-US economic ties. Alice Wells said Pak -US relationship is important and the US would like to carry it forward. She lauded the reforms that Pakistan has undertaken in different economic spheres and expressed US support for similar reform efforts in future.

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