Top US diplomat to travel to India, Pakistan next month: State Department

Washington: A top American diplomat will visit India next month to hold talks with her Indian counterpart on bilateral and regional issues, the US State Department has said, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a successful bilateral summit here with President Joe Biden.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R Sherman will travel to New Delhi on October 6 and to Mumbai on the next day, the State Department said on Monday.

Sherman will be in New Delhi on October 6 for a series of bilateral meetings, civil society events, and the India Ideas Summit. On October 7, she will travel to Mumbai for her engagements with business and civil society, it said.

From Mumbai, she will fly to Islamabad to meet with senior officials in Pakistan, the department said.

Before arriving in Delhi, Sherman will also visit Switzerland and Uzbekistan, beginning September 29.

India and the US are scheduled to hold their first 2+2 summit under the Biden administration in November.

According to a report in Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper, Sherman’s visit from October 7-8 will be one of the first high-level official visits under President Joe Biden to visit Pakistan after CIA chief Bill Burns visit to the country on September 9.

Sherman will meet senior officials in Islamabad during her visit, the report said.

The visit comes days after Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed the US for the situation in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Khan, while delivering his UNGA address on Friday, said that Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events in Afghanistan, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe.

Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had met Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Mahmood Shah Qureshi on the sidelines of the 76th UNGA and discussed the way forward in Afghanistan.

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