Sherman’s Pak visit focuses on Kabul

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US State Department on Friday issued a statement on Shermans’s engagements. It indicated the centrality of the Afghan issue in US-Pakistan talks….reports Asian Lite News

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s recent visit to Pakistan overshadowed the desire for broad-based ties with Islamabad as it was focused on Afghanistan’s current situation, reported local media.

Wendy Sherman reached Islamabad on Thursday for the talks that focused on the current situation in Afghanistan and on US efforts to evolve a coordinated approach towards Afghanistan, reported Dawn.

During her two day visit to Islamabad, Sherman met various top members of the Pakistan government including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf and Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

US State Department on Friday issued a statement on Shermans’s engagements. It indicated the centrality of the Afghan issue in US-Pakistan talks.

Speaking at a news briefing in Islamabad, Sherman said that while she also discussed bilateral relations with Pakistani officials, “this particular trip was to really consult deeply on how we see the changing circumstances, given the change that has taken place in Afghanistan,” according to Dawn.

It confirms what Sherman said at an event in Mumbai on Thursday, where she declared that Washington no longer sees itself building a “broad-based relationship” with Pakistan and that she was going to Islamabad with a “specific and narrow purpose” of talks on Afghanistan.

Despite differences on Afghanistan and other issues, the Biden administration will continue its engagement with Pakistan, diplomatic sources in Washington say.

However, the sources say that in all these talks, the US will focus on four major points: Recognition of the Taliban government in Kabul, international sanctions on Afghanistan, access to the land-locked country and counter-terrorism cooperation, reported Dawn.

Meanwhile, Pakistan NSA Moeed Yusuf told Sherman that the world should engage with the Taliban’s newly-formed government in Afghanistan.

The Pak NSA held a meeting with the Deputy State Secretary on Friday and both leaders discussed bilateral issues and the changing situation in the region, Geo News reported. They also held talks on economic cooperation, trade and the security situation in Afghanistan.

“The international community needs to talk and engage with Afghanistan’s new interim government,” Moeed Yousaf said.

Pic credits @DeputySecState

Since the Taliban’s take over Afghanistan, Islamabad has been urging to recognise the interim government in the troubled country. Except for a handful of nations like China and Pakistan, no other country is inclined to recognise the outfit and is adopting a wait and watch policy.

This comes as policymakers and geopolitical experts in Washington are advocating a shift in outlook towards Islamabad following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan which was reportedly aided by Pakistan.

This shift in tide has been widely attributed to Pakistan’s covert and overt support to the outfit which led to the swift fall of the democratically elected government in Kabul in August this year.

Last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said that Washington is looking to “reassess” its ties with Islamabad. Pakistan Foreign Office later expressed “surprise” over Blinken’s remarks, saying it was “not in line with the close cooperation” between the two nations. (ANI)

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