Top US delegation visits Pakistan to repair bilateral ties
Source :NewsBharati   Date :14-Oct-2017

Islamabad, October 14: A high-level US delegation is in Pakistan to improve the strained bilateral ties between the two countries. Both have agreed to continue bilateral engagements at all levels and work together to defeat terrorism.

The US delegation included the acting assistant secretary of state, Ambassador Alice Wells, acting Assistant Secretary of Defence David Helvey and other senior officials from the Departments of State and Defence.

Deputy assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior director for South Asia, Lisa Curtis, held talks with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Bajwa.

“At the request of the government of Pakistan, the visit of the US delegation has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” the Pakistan’s Foreign Office had stated in a diplomatically worded brief press release.

“The two sides reviewed the state of play in the relationship in wake of the US strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia and agreed to continue discussions on all matters of mutual interest”, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif postponed his visit to the US. He was scheduled to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Aug 25. Another visit that of a delegation led by senior White House National Security Council official Lisa Curtis had also been rescheduled.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif later visited the United States and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal is currently in the US.

This was the first high-level US delegation’s visit to Pakistan after US President Donald Trump unveiled a new strategy on South Asia and Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump said early Saturday morning he wants to express his gratitude to Pakistan and its leadership for their cooperation something that came as a stark contrast to the scathing comments he had made earlier this year during the unveiling of the American strategy in South Asia.

Notably, Pakistan had decided to frame new rules of engagement with Washington, after POTUS Trump had accused the Muslim nation of harbouring and supporting terrorists. Pakistani government said that the international community should stop blaming Pak for the existence of the militant outfits in its soil.