News Analysis |
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive Pakistan today (Wednesday) for the first high-level official meetings with leaders of the newly-elected government in Islamabad. During his visit, Pompeo will be accompanied by US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford, underscoring its counter-terrorism focus in engagements with the South Asian partner.
It is learned that the Pompeo-led US delegation will hold formal negotiations with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his team. The visitors are likely to hold a separate meeting with newly sworn-in Prime Minister Imran Khan. Regarding the visit of US delegation, Shah Mehmood Qureshi says his meeting with Pompeo will provide an opportunity for the two sides to exchange views and try to improve strained ties.
The first meeting between PM Imran and COAS Bajwa came on August 27 when the two leaders expressed their resolve to continue efforts for enduring peace and stability in the country as well as the region.
The relations between the two countries have deteriorated to the lowest ebb since Trump while announcing his South Asia policy, accused Pakistan of not fully sporting US-backed war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan consistently denies the allegations as its people have made unmatched sacrifices in a bid to eradicate the menace of terrorism to bring stability and peace of in the region.
The Pentagon also announced last week it has decided to scrap $300 million in military aid to Pakistan, citing the country’s lack of cooperation with Trump’s South Asia strategy. But Qureshi swiftly dismissed the assertions, saying the money was not the US aid, but reimbursements for expenses incurred by Pakistan from its own resources for fighting regional terrorism in support of Washington’s counterterrorism efforts.
US secretary of state said he would emphasize in meetings in Islamabad that Pakistan needed to help with ending the Afghan conflict, America’s longest war. “We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan,” said Pompeo. “The very reason for this trip is to try to articulate what it is our expectation is, the things that they can do, the things that they expect us to do, and see if we can’t find a path forward together.”
The United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford is also accompanying Secretary Pompeo on his Pakistan visit. Secretary Pompeo will go to India after his Pakistan visit. The Trump Administration has been at loggerheads with Pakistan after the American president’s tweet, accusing Pakistan of sheltering terrorists, which Pakistan denies.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) has made safe havens inside Afghanistan from where it launches attacks inside Pakistani territory.
Another major event was the Corps Commanders Conference(CCC) which was held in GHQ on Tuesday with COAS General Bajwa on a chair. CCC paid tributes to the martyrs ahead of the Defence Day, according to Inter-Services Public Relations. While chairing the conference, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said the sacrifices of martyrs and their families should be acknowledged.
He also directed the army to reach the areas where martyrs belonged to and meet their families. The progress of Radd-ul-Fasaad and regional peace was also discussed at the conference. The operation was launched in February 2017, which was based on broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, and continuation of ongoing operations across the country.
Yesterday, ahead of the visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa met and discussed, among other matters, the uneasy relationship between the two countries. The third meeting between the Premier and the head of the armed forces bodes well for civil and military relations as well as internal unity.
Sources said the civilian and military top bosses discussed the overall security situation in the country with specific reference to Islamabad’s pursuits against terrorism in all its manifestations and forms. The first meeting between PM Imran and COAS Bajwa came on August 27 when the two leaders expressed their resolve to continue efforts for enduring peace and stability in the country as well as the region.
Most of the current Pak-US tensions seem to be revolving around Afghanistan. The US is fighting one of its longest wars in Pakistan’s western neighbor and routinely blames Pakistan for insurgent attacks within Afghanistan. At the same time, it doesn’t consider Pakistan’s apprehensions of safe havens for terror groups fleeing anti-militancy operations into Afghanistan.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) has made safe havens inside Afghanistan from where it launches attacks inside Pakistani territory. Declared a terror group in the USA, Washington has largely failed to take action against Afghan and Indian government support to the TTP.