Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua received the United States (US) Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells at the Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad on Monday, according to a press release.
Ambassador Wells was accompanied by senior officials from the US National Security Council and Ambassador David Hale. Foreign Secretary Janjua was assisted by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The visit was part of regular engagement between the two countries on bilateral and regional cooperation,” read the statement issued by the FO.
In the meeting, Janjua underscored that the relationship with the US needed to move forward under an environment of mutual trust and respect.
According to the FO spokesperson, the visiting delegation was apprised about recent counter-terrorism actions taken by Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies, which had contributed to the visible improvement in the security situation of Pakistan.
“Comprehensive counter-terrorism actions by Pakistan would also contribute towards peace and stability in the entire region,” Janjua told Wells.
In context of the regional situation, the foreign secretary expressed concerns on the continued use of Afghan soil by elements hostile to Pakistan’s stability.
“Strengthening border management mechanisms between Pakistan and Afghanistan are vital to address concerns relating to cross border movements,” she added.
“Early repatriation of Afghan refugees is also important in order to improve relations with Afghanistan,” she emphasised.
The foreign secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to efforts aimed at promoting peace and stability in the region.
The Pakistani officials also drew the attention of the US delegation to the recent irresponsible statement by the Indian Army Chief and the pattern of escalation by India on the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary.
Pakistan also condemns the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by Indian troops, which resulted in the martyrdom of four Pakistani soldiers last night, the press release quoted officials as saying.
Tehmina Janjua asked the US to advise India to exercise restraint and warn against using escalation tactics along the border with Pakistan.
Noting the importance of the longstanding bilateral relationship between the two countries, Ambassador Wells acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in eradicating terrorism and conveyed the US’ desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of stabilising Afghanistan.
She argued that as an immediate neighbour and important country of the region, Pakistan’s support was critical to the success of the US strategy for Afghanistan.
To this end, Ambassador Wells underlined the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation between the two sides to improve coordination in counter-terrorism efforts.
The two sides agreed that all initiatives owned and led by the Afghans seeking a peaceful solution should be supported by regional countries. Pakistan’s positive role in several peace initiatives was also appreciated.
Foreign secretary says Pakistan believes in engagement with Afghanistan
Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua has sought an explanation from the ambassador over the American president's tweet
Making an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, Pence on Thursday said sharp words for Pakistan
More in Pakistan