A top US diplomat on Thursday said Pakistan’s importance was going to ‘multiply’ in the aftermath of the withdrawal of US-led international forces from neighbouring Afghanistan later this year.
The assurance came from US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan James Dobbins, who held separate meetings with Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Dobbins, who is a pointman of US President Barrack Obama for the region, is currently on a visit to Islamabad to discuss key issues including the democratic transition in Afghanistan as well as the post-2014 scenario.
During meeting with the interior minister, the US envoy dismissed perceptions that Washington’s priorities might change with regard to Pakistan post-2014.
According to the official statement issued by the interior ministry, Dobbins pointed that Pakistan’s importance would further increase in the wake of drawdown of US-led forces from Afghanistan.
“Overall regional situation came under discussion during the meeting, which was also attended by US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson,” said the statement.
He assured the minister that US views the Nawaz Sharif-led government as a reliable partner in the pursuit of peace and was committed to a multi-faceted and long-term relationship with Pakistan.
During the meeting between PM’s Advisor and Dobbins, the two sides discussed a whole range of issues including bilateral cooperation as well as current situation in Afghanistan and the peace efforts.
Aziz, according to foreign ministry statement, emphasised the importance Pakistan attaches to deepening Pakistan-US bilateral cooperation in all fields.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2014.