Thaw in Pak-US strained ties

Pakistan envoy meets US defence secretary

Washington

The strain relations between Pakistan and United States moving towards thaw as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Ali Jahangir Siddiqui on Monday met with the US Secretary of Defence General James Mattis.
Bilateral ties were discussed in the meeting that took place on Pakistan’s request. The Pakistani ambassador visited Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, where among other things discussed were Pakistan’s ties with Afghanistan and the regional security situation.
Earlier this month, Siddiqui had said both Pakistan and the US were aware of the issues surrounding bilateral ties. Speaking to a private TV channel in Dallas, the Pakistani envoy said the two countries were working towards the restoration of their bilateral relationship.
Siddiqui has earlier stressed peace in Afghanistan is his top policy priority and Pakistan remains committed to ending regional conflict. In an interview to Bloomberg TV, Siddiqui said Pakistan was working on a second portion of a fence at its border with its war-ravaged neighbour Afghanistan. The fence is a clear sign of Pakistan’s interest in ending the regional conflict and will help Pakistan and Afghanistan equally in doing so, Siddiqui said.
“Until we complete this fence, it’s unreasonable to say we aren’t doing anything,” Siddiqui had remarked.
US Army Lieutenant General Austin Miller, Trump’s nominee to head the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, said in a statement to a Senate panel last month that Pakistan had made “many sacrifices” and “its security forces have fought bravely,” but “we have not yet seen these counter-terrorism efforts against anti-Pakistan militants translate into definitive actions against Afghan Taliban or Haqqani leaders residing in Pakistan.”—INP

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