US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who arrived in Islamabad last night on a two-day official visit, met Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Foreign Office on Friday.
A video of the Foreign Minister welcoming Ms. Sherman made the rounds on social media. Interestingly, Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Ms. Sherman inside the building of the Foreign Office.
As per the protocol, foreign diplomats are usually welcomed by their counterparts personally receiving them at the entrance of the building. However, this time around, FM Qureshi let Sherman enter the building, and then he met her.
Talking to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Islamabad @SMQureshiPTI stressed that regular&organized dialogue between two countries is important to promote bilateral relations as well as to achieve shared regional objectives@DeputySecStatehttps://t.co/Zvv86aFB7r pic.twitter.com/C4mrZmReTK
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) October 8, 2021
Read more: FM Qureshi & Blinken meet for the first time to discuss bilateral ties
Most importantly, Sherman’s visit to Pakistan came after her recent statements made in India on Pak-US ties.
During her visit to India, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman Thursday said Washington has “no interest” in going back to the days hyphenating India and Pakistan. Moreover, her trip to Islamabad is only for a “specific and narrow purpose”.
“We (the US) don’t see ourselves building our broad relationship with Pakistan and we have no interest in returning to the days of a hyphenated India, Pakistan. That’s not where we are, that’s not where we are going to be,” Sherman said.
Consequently, the statements came as a shock to Pakistan as Pakistanis began questioning US intentions.
Read more: Afghan peace: Why Pakistan should no more “do more”
This is not what #Pakistan wanted to hear: Wendy Sherman in #India: “We [U.S.] don’t see ourselves building our broad relationship with Pakistan.. have no interest in returning to days of hyphenated India, Pakistan," Trip to #Pakistan for “specific and narrow purpose" 🤨
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) October 8, 2021
Let’s wake up and smell the coffee. Wendy Sherman said in Mumbai her Pakistan visit is for a “particular set of reasons” and is not meant to once again rebuild a broader relationship with the country. “We (US) don’t see ourselves building our broad relationship with Pakistan…”
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) October 8, 2021
On this note, it appears as if FM Qureshi’s decision to not receive Ms. Sherman could be a portrayal of Pakistan’s assertiveness that Ms. Sherman’s statements did not go unnoticed.
Nevertheless, Pakistan still welcomes any dialogue with the US, especially with the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.
Pak-US share same views on Afghanistan: FM Qureshi
While talking about the situation in Afghanistan, the FM said that Pakistan and the US have the same views on Afghanistan.
“The new Afghan setup will work for peace and stability as well as for the betterment of its people. A representative and broad-based Afghan government can be a trustworthy partner for the international community,” the FO quoted Qureshi as saying.
Similarly, US Deputy Secretary Sherman appreciated Pakistan’s help in the evacuation of the US and other nationals from Afghanistan, and also lauded its consistent efforts for peace in the region.
Read more: Pakistan becomes world’s favorite due to Afghanistan evacuation process: FM Qureshi