LAHORE: The US Secretary of State, Mr William P. Rogers, said today [May 25] that during their talks in the afternoon, he had conveyed to the President and other members of the Pakistan Government that the US was seriously interested in and would continue to take keen interest in the future of Pakistan. Mr Rogers was addressing a brief Press conference prior to his departure for Kabul this morning.

... Answering a question on the supply of US weapons to Pakistan he said, the matter had come up for discussion during the talks, but for the time being “we are not in a position to make any commitment on this score”.

... Mr Rogers evaded a direct reply to a question if the relations between India and Pakistan could improve without the settlement of basic issues between the two countries. He said “I do not think I should answer this question. I should express the hope that they can improve.”

Asked if there was any truth in the rumours that the SEATO was being done away with and a new defence arrangement was in the offing, the Secretary of State said his delegation had made it clear at the Bangkok meeting that the United States would continue to fulfil its responsibility. He did not see any practical prospects for any new security arrangements.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2019