News Desk |
On Tuesday, U.S Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs stated the possibility of Pakistan emerging as a “regional power”. Speaking at a ceremony in Washington, David Hale appreciated Pakistan’s efforts towards establishing peace and stability in the region and stated that Pakistan can emerge as a regional power in the future.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitments towards ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan have also been praised by Richard Olson, former US Ambassador to Pakistan. Olson also lauded PM Khan’s initiative to “de-escalate” the ongoing strife between Pakistan and India in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.
“India is one of the premier security partners in the Indo-Pacific region”, and also noted that the US is keen on expanding and increasing its defence efforts and cooperation with India.
On Tuesday, during a press briefing of the US State Department, Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino was questioned on Mike Pompeo’s remarks that recognized Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation as a threat to the US. Palladino responded by stating that nuclear proliferation is one of the “very first national security concerns in our (US) National Security Strategy” and the impact of nuclear weapons makes it a great dilemma for the leaders in Washington.
Palladino added, “As far as Pakistan itself, the Secretary has also emphasized the need to deliver outcomes and to build confidence and trust between our two nations, and we do want to see a prosperous Pakistan that contributes positively towards regional stability and security”.
In response to a question on Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process, Palladino noted that Pakistan has an “important part” to play. Palladino said, “Pakistan could play an important role in bringing about a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, and something that we’re thankful for.
It is interesting to note that when questioned about the US-India Defense Strategic Partnership, Palladino noted that cooperation between the two countries is “rapidly expanding”. He said, “India is one of the premier security partners in the Indo-Pacific region”, and also noted that the US is keen on expanding and increasing its defence efforts and cooperation with India.
In April, Islamabad is all set to receive US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad during his multi-nation journey that will take him to several NATO-allied states, including the United Kingdom, Qatar, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. Khalilzad is expected to visit Pakistan before 10th April.
Mina Jahangir with additional input by News Desk.