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Top US official holds Islamabad meetings focused on Afghanistan

Wendy Sherman received a 'frosty' welcome at FO

SAMAA | , and - Posted: Oct 8, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Oct 8, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Wendy Sherman with Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the foreign office in Islamabad on October 8, 2021.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has held meetings with senior officials in Islamabad a day after she said in India that the US did not intend to build “our broad relationship with Pakistan” and engaged with Islamabad “to know what’s going on in Afghanistan.”

Sherman arrived in Islamabad on Thursday and met with National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf. On Friday, she visited the foreign office and held talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. She later arrived at the PM House to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Frosty welcome

Sherman arrived at the foreign office with her delegation that included Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia.

US Deputy Secretary of State was given a ‘frosty welcome’ as a ‘mid ranking official’ and not her counterpart received her, tweeted journalist Baqir Sajjad, posting a video.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi was at the foreign office when Sherman arrived and the two held a delegation-level bilateral meeting.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and senior foreign ministry officials participated in the talks.

US Deputy Secretary of State expressed deep sorrow over the earthquake in Balochistan and the resulting loss of life.

Stressing on the need for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan, the foreign minister said that Pakistan and the United States shared a common vision.

Sherman appreciated Pakistan’s support for the evacuation of American and other citizens from Afghanistan and its continued efforts for peace in the region, SAMAA TV reported.

Sheh Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan hopes that the new setup in Afghanistan will work for peace and stability as well as for the betterment of all Afghan people.

“A broad-based government representative of the Afghan people can be a reliable partner for the international community,” he said.

The current situation requires positive participation from the international community, provision of humanitarian and financial resources and concrete steps to build a sustainable economy to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people, the foreign minister emphasized.

Qureshi also said Pakistan seeks a broad-based, long-term and lasting relationship with the US for economic cooperation, promotion of regional ties and peace in the region.

The process of regular and systematic dialogue between Pakistan and the United States is essential for the promotion of our mutual interests as well as common regional goals, he emphasized.

US Deputy Secretary of State commended progress in bilateral talks between Pakistan and the United States on climate change and alternative energy.

She made a mention of bilateral relation later in her tweet after the talks and described it as “important.”

No broad relationship

Sherman arrived in Pakistan after a two day India visit which she ended by addressing an event in Mumbai. She spoke on US-India relations and made a key comment about Pakistan.

“We don’t see ourselves building our broad relationship with Pakistan and we have no interest in returning to the days of a hyphenated India, Pakistan. That’s not where we are, that’s not where we are going to be,” Sherman said according to India media.

“But we all need to know what’s going on in Afghanistan. We all need to be of one mind in the approach to the Taliban. We all need to make sure that we have the capabilities that we need to ensure everybody’s security, including India’s, of course,” she said.

Sherman said she was going to have “some very specific conversations” with Pakistan.

The comments from the State Department’s second highest officials have generated debated on social media.

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