Peter Lavoy leading the United States delegation in meeting with Sartaj Aziz at Foreign office

U.S. High Level Delegation in Islamabad to Repair Fractured Relations

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: A High level delegation headed by Peter Lavoy Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, General John Nicholson, Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, Ambassador Richard Olson, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and United States Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale here in Islamabad to repair the fractured ties between Pakistan and United States. The delegation met with General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz here in Islamabad on Friday.

It is said same sort of situation has been developed between Pakistan and United States when Al-Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden was killed in  U.S. raid inside Pakistan and the Salala check post was attacked in 2001. The decision of US Congress to stop the aid Pakistan for the sale of eight F-16 air crafts and United States continued support for inclusion of India into Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) more halted these relations.

Pakistan Army mouth piece Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) and Foreign Office separately issued statements regarding the meetings between visiting delegation, but United States embassy in Islamabad has not yet commented or shared any details of interaction of its delegation in Islamabad.

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According to ISPR press release Peter Lavoy Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, General John Nicholson, Commander Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and Ambassador Richard Olson, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan called on General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) at GHQ on Friday.

Regional Security Situation, with particular reference to border management and peace and stability in Afghanistan in the post-21 May US drone strike environment came under discussion. Expressing his serious concern on the US drone strike in Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, COAS highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and respect and was counter productive in consolidating the gains of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.

General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) demanded that United States should attack Mullah Fazalullah and other terrorists of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who have sought refuge in Afghanistan. COAS reiterated Pakistan’s resolve not to allow hostile intelligence agencies’ efforts, especially RAW and NDS, of fomenting terrorism. COAS reaffirmed the need for continuing harmonized efforts against terrorists and effective border management as ways to regional peace and stability. He further said Pakistan is committed to work for a long term peace process for Afghanistan under the QCG framework.

Earlier US delegation reached Pakistan on Friday and met with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz as relations between the two countries hit a low after a US drone strike killed Afghan Taliban Leader Mullah Mansour in Balochistan.

In the meeting Pakistan expressed its reservation over the drone strike in Noshki. The drone was an attack on sovereignty of Pakistan and violation of UN charter, the foreign office said. Future drone strike will affect Pak-US relationship, the statement added. The foreign office maintained that the drone strike damaged the Afghan peace process. On the other hand The US delegation refused to budge down to diffuse the tension and said that no assurances can be given about further drone strikes on Pakistan, according to Media Reports.

The US delegation said that they would make efforts to improve the strained relationship. “The United States is determined for better relationship with Pakistan,” Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council Peter Lavoy who led the US delegation said.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” can be reached # arifqoreshi@gmail.com

 

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