Pak-US Relationship after the “New” Government: An Overview of Foreign Minister's visit to the US
On Tuesday, 5th October, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held lengthy meetings with the United States' top civilian and military brass, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton to discuss bilateral ties and issues of mutual interests.
Given South Asia’s Status as one of the least integrated regions in the world, mainly due to political history and entropy in the region – the two leaders discussed matters of regional security and integration. During the lengthy discourse Afghanistan and regional cooperation seemed to the focal point, as Trump administration seeks Islamabad’s help to push the Taliban to the discussion table. Pakistan also reassured its continued support and cooperation with the United States to ensure peace and stability in war trodden Afghanistan.
Qureshi was also accompanied by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, the Pakistani Ambassador to the US. While acknowledging the US’ resuscitated efforts for dialogue in the Afghan conflict, Shah Mehmood emphasized that the only way to peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan will be through a single paved political discourse, as opposed to one bought by arms. Owing to Afghanistan’s immensely important and strategic geographical location, Qureshi reinstated that long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan translated to harmony and quietude in the region.
Expounding upon one of the most fundamental principles of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), Pakistan recognized that for lasting peace and constructive reconciliation, representation of the Afghans is crucial and any reform needs to be Afghan-led. The foreign minister also scratched upon the rising belligerence and hostility that India exhibited in South Asia, but maintained that Pakistan is committed to engage in dialogue with New Dehli to put an end to the turmoil and instability caused by all unconcluded conflicts inclusive of the Kashmir Issue.
In conclusion, the leaders of both the countries appreciated the efforts of cooperation pursued at the opposite ends, while being mindful that this is just the start and for stability in the region cooperation, incorporation, and integration must be extended.