WASHINGTON: National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf and the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, reached the US capital on Tuesday for talks with their American counterparts on Afghanistan and other issues of bilateral interests.
Mr Yusuf’s meeting with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan will focus on the issues the two NSAs discussed in their first meeting in Geneva in May. Diplomatic sources in Washington say that they will also review the progress on bilateral engagements between the two countries since their first meeting.
The Pakistani NSA, who is staying in Washington for more than a week, will meet US legislators and other senior officials as well. He will also speak at US-based think tanks, address media briefings and interact with the Pakistani community.
The embassy is arranging a dinner for the two guests with US lawmakers and senior officials. The ISI chief will have separate meetings with his counterparts in the American intelligence agencies and other senior officials.
In Washington, the visit is seen in the backdrop of renewed US efforts to formulate a regional response to the Afghan crisis aimed at preventing a Taliban takeover in Kabul.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently in New Delhi and “it’s Afghanistan that will likely dominate his discussions” there, says Michael Kugelman, an expert of South Asian affairs at the Wilson Center, Washington. The top US diplomat is likely to visit Kabul as well before he returns to Washington.
The Pakistani delegation will still be in the US capital when Secretary Blinken returns but it’s not clear if he will also meet the visitors.
Published in Dawn, July 28th , 2021