Pak, US review bilateral relationship

Pak, US review bilateral relationship

Islamabad: Pakistan and the US have reviewed their bilateral relationship as top officials from the two countries took part in a virtual conference during which they also discussed the need for peace and stability in Afghanistan and South Asia.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood held wide-ranging consultations with Ambassador David Hale, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the US State Department.

The two sides reviewed the bilateral relationship, its present trajectory, and future direction and also exchanged views on peace and stability in South Asia, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington Asad Majeed Khan and US Charge d’affaires in Islamabad Ambassador Paul Jones along with senior officials from both sides attended the virtual consultations, it said.

During the meeting, Mahmood said that it was imperative to take steps to prevent escalation of tensions in South Asia and to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Pakistan has been unsuccessfully trying to drum up international support against India for withdrawing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating it into two Union territories.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept reality and stop all anti-India propaganda.

Mahmood said Pakistan attached high priority to its relationship with the US with a focus on enhanced economic engagement and people-to-people contacts.

He reiterated Pakistan’s desire to forge a strong and mutually beneficial economic partnership with the US and added that a broad-based and enduring partnership between the two countries, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump, is a factor of stability in the region, the Foreign Office said.

The two sides also shared their perspectives on the progress made in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The Foreign Secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process and expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize this historic opportunity and secure an inclusive and comprehensive political solution through intra-Afghan negotiations, the statement said.

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