ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood held wide-ranging consultations with Ambassador David Hale Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the State Department and reviewed bilateral relations and future direction.
The foreign secretary said that Pakistan attached high priority to its relationship with the United States with a focus on enhanced economic engagement and people-to-people contacts. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire to forge a strong and mutually beneficial economic partnership with the United States.
He added that a broad-based and enduring partnership between the two countries, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Trump, is a factor of stability in the region.
In the regional context, the two sides shared their perspectives on the progress made in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process. The foreign secretary reaffirmed Pakistan’s steadfast support for an Afghan peace process and hoped that Afghan parties would seize this historic opportunity and secure an inclusive and comprehensive political solution through intra-Afghan negotiations.
The two sides also exchanged views on peace and stability in South Asia. The foreign secretary highlighted the aftermath of India’s illegal and unilateral action of 5th August 2019.
He focused on massive human rights violations in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, and intensified ceasefire violations along the LoC.
He underlined that India’s continuing military siege in occupied Kashmir and aggressive posturing against Pakistan posed a threat to peace and security. He said it was imperative to take steps to prevent escalation of tensions and facilitate peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington Asad Majeed Khan and United States Charge’d Affairs in Islamabad Paul Jones along with senior officials from both sides also attended the virtual consultations.