Pakistan desires bilateral engagement with United States

Islamabad, Oct 19 : Pakistans military establishment has reiterated its desire to maintain the tradition of bilateral engagement for enduring relationship with the United States.

The desire was shared by Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during his meeting with US Charge d’Affaires Angela Aggeler at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.

As per the details, Afghanistan remained the prime focus of the discussions. It was emphasised that Afghanistan is in dire need for a global convergence and “coordinated efforts for the economic uplift of the Afghan people”.

The visit of Aggeler carried importance in the context of the security situation in Afghanistan, after the withdrawal of the US and NATO forces in haste, followed by a Taliban takeover within 20 days, which shocked the world and started a critical scrutiny of the two-decade-long war against terrorism in Afghanistan.

What was interesting in Aggeler’s visit to Pakistan was the fact that there no meeting was held with Prime Minister Imran Khan. It is believed that the reason for this was in reaction to US President Joe Biden’s ignorance towards Khan and reluctance in having even a telephonic contact with him, since the time Biden has assumed office.

Pakistan’s deliberate stretch from the Biden administration is evident since it refused Washington for providing its airspace and bases to operate drones and surveillance level activities in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s stand didn’t seem to go down well with the Biden administration, which many believe is the reason why Biden has opted not to initiate any contact with the Pakistani premier.

It is also believed that Pakistan’s civil and military level relationships have been on the same page in terms of decision making, and the decision to maintain a distance with the US is part of the country’s diplomatic policy.

However, the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover has given Pakistan a much greater importance, especially for Washington, which is clearly trying to offer intelligence-level connections with Pakistan with incentives over bilateral collaborations in different fields of cooperation.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has been asking the US and the global community to engage with the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan and work towards saving the country from what seems like an inevitable humanitarian and economic crisis.(IANS)

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