The United States “fully supports” the peace process that led to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit to Kabul this week and hopes that for a “more productive exchange” of views between India and Pakistan as well, says a senior US diplomat.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells in an interview to India’s The Hindu newspaper acknowledged that Pakistan had taken steps against terrorists but called for more “sustainable and irreversible” actions.
“I wish I could take credit for that, but the Afghanistan-Pakistan talks have been under way ever since Gen (Qamar Javed) Bajwa went to Kabul in October 2017,” said Ambassador Wells when the interviewer suggested that PM Abbasi’s visit to Kabul was “one of the outcomes” of her recent visit to Kabul and Islamabad.
Official says Washington always encourages Islamabad and Delhi to sit down and resolve issues
“We are very supportive of that, but it is not a US process,” she said. “I think it is an excellent initiative between the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to strengthen their bilateral relationship.”
Noting that until Afghanistan and Pakistan had more normal relations it’s impossible to talk about broader reconciliation, Ms Wells said: “We fully support the framework agreement that they are seeking to formalise and the action groups that are embedded in it.”
The United States, she said, would like to see concrete steps to improve the relations between the two countries on all fronts, from bilateral trade to border management and the presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.