Pak-US dialogue vital for anti-terror war: FS

WASHINGTON: Foreign Secretary Tahmina Janjua has emphasised the importance of structural dialogue between Pakistan and the US to continue efforts against terrorism.

Talking to journalists at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, Janjua termed Pak-US alliance against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups as produvtive. She said maintaining relations with Pakistan is as important for the US as are Islamabad’s linkages with its Western ally.

Highlighting Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism and extremism, the foreign secretary stressed on regional cooperation and integration as a bulwark against terrorist elements. She said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is part of the grand Belt and Road Initiative which aims at knitting the region in a cohesive unit in order to do away with mutual differences.

The foreign secretary, who is currently on a crucial visit to Washington as part of an endeavor by both sides to work together, said the US wishes to continue engagement with Pakistan.

Earlier, Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, had said, “I think we’re in the beginning of a process with the Pakistani government. We have a series of high-level exchanges planned. Foreign Secretary Janjua is here in Washington for important meetings. There will be a very intensive dialogue through both our military and civilian channels to discuss how we can work together.” “We’re certainly not walking away from Pakistan,” she stressed.

Asked if Washington had noticed any improvements in Pakistan’s behaviour in terms of action against terrorism and militancy, Wells had said the US had ‘not seen decisive and sustained changes yet’. “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,” she had said.

Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.