WASHINGTON: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said maintaining relations with Pakistan is as important for the United States as are Islamabad’s linkages with its Western ally.
In an exclusive interview with media, Janjua stressed the importance of strategic and diplomatic relations between the two nations.
The US wishes to continue talks with Pakistan, said the Foreign Secretary, who is on a crucial visit to Washington as part of an attempt by both states to work together.
Earlier in the day, Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, had said: “I think we’re in the beginning of a process with the Pakistani Government.
“We have a series of high-level exchanges, Foreign Secretary Janjua will be here in Washington for meetings tomorrow. … There will be a very intensive dialogue through both our military and our civilian channels to discuss how we can work together.
“We’re certainly not walking away from Pakistan,” she had stressed.
Asked if Washington had noticed any improvements in Pakistan’s behaviour in terms of terrorism and militancy, Wells said the US had “not seen decisive and sustained changes yet”.
“But certainly, we are continuing to engage with Pakistan over areas where we think they can play a helpful role in changing the calculus of the Taliban,” she had said.
On Monday, the Pentagon had asserted that Islamabad has the “opportunity to do more.”
“Well, with respect to Pakistan, we believe that Pakistan can do more to combat terrorism,” Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White had said.
The US-Pak relations witnessed a downtrend after US President Donald Trump’s New Year tweet, wherein he had claimed that Washington had “foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years”.