ISLAMABAD: On Friday, Dr Moeed Yusuf, the National Security Advisor, spoke to Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R Sherman asserting that the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan is a new reality and the international community should play an important role in the development of Afghanistan by engaging with them. Sherman is the top US official to reach Pakistan on a two-day official visit after the CIA Director William J Burns earlier became the guest. However, during the meeting, matters of mutual interests and the developing situation in the region after the Taliban takeover were discussed. The two also talked about economic cooperation, trade and the security situation in Afghanistan. “The international community needs to engage with Afghanistan’s new interim government,” Moeed Yousaf said. Yusuf told Sherman that Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir were leading the region towards further instability. On the other hand, on Thursday, during a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar had maintained that a huge responsibility lies on the United States as it is supposed to address the grave and continuing human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), and the issue will be raised with Wendy R. Sherman during talks at the Foreign Office. “Violations of human rights in IIOJ&K is an ongoing situation. We are taking it up at all levels — through bilateral and multilateral channels, including particularly with the UN leadership. I am certain this issue is going to be raised during the visit of the Deputy Secretary of State. We think that important countries like the US have a very special responsibility – as the permanent member of the UNSC and as advocates of human rights globally – in addressing the grave concerns regarding the human rights situation in IIOJK”, the FO spokesman had said. The spokesperson further said that it was time to look at other shared interests in the bilateral relationship. “I think it is very clear and we have been saying it for quite some time that we desire a relationship that takes into account the interests of both countries, and we do have many shared interests with the US. “There is a desire on Pakistan’s part, and I believe on the part of the US as well, to make this relationship broad-based and forward-looking, moving away from looking at it mostly from the perspective of Afghanistan. As I said before, close engagement between Pakistan and the US has always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in the region,” he added. When the recent reports of the US Congressional hearing were raised at the briefing, the spokesperson had said that these are a matter of concern. “Let me reiterate that the US Congressional hearings represent a continuation of the debate underway in Washington to reflect on and draw lessons from the US intervention in Afghanistan. “While the views being expressed by lawmakers and experts during these hearings do not necessarily reflect the United States’ official position, they are a matter of concern, and are nonetheless inconsistent with the reality of the ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and the United States on Afghanistan”, he had said.