US State Dept No. 2 to visit Pakistan, India after Taliban takeover

Published September 27, 2021
In this August 18, 2021, photo, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC. — AFP/File
In this August 18, 2021, photo, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks on the situation in Afghanistan at the State Department in Washington, DC. — AFP/File

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will travel next month to Pakistan and India, who have clashed on the way forward in Afghanistan, the State Department announced on Monday.

Sherman, after CIA chief Bill Burns, will be one of the first high-level officials under President Joe Biden to visit Pakistan.

Sherman will meet senior officials in Islamabad on October 7-8 after an earlier visit to New Delhi and Mumbai on October 6-7, when she will meet officials and civil society leaders and address the US-India Business Council's annual “ideas summit”, the State Department said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an opinion piece published on Monday in The Washington Post, called Pakistan a “convenient scapegoat”.

“In Afghanistan, the lack of legitimacy for an outsider's protracted war was compounded by a corrupt and inept Afghan government, seen as a puppet regime without credibility, especially by rural Afghans,” he wrote, elaborating on themes in his address on Friday to the UN General Assembly.

He urged the world to engage the Taliban government “to ensure peace and stability”.

Biden, who like his predecessors has called for strong relations with India, has yet to speak to Prime Minister Imran, although Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Pakistani counterpart, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on the sidelines of UN meetings last week and thanked Islamabad for help in evacuating Americans from Afghanistan.

During the meeting, Qureshi said that close engagement between Pakistan and the United States had always been mutually beneficial and a factor for stability in South Asia. He reiterated Pakistan’s desire for a balanced relationship with the US that was anchored in trade, investment, energy and regional connectivity.

The foreign minister also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating efforts for an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, also believed that “only a stable and broad-based government in Afghanistan, which reflects its diversity and preserves the gains made by the country since 2001, would be able to ensure that Afghan territory is never exploited by transnational terrorist groups ever again”.

Opinion

Editorial

Hard reset
25 Nov, 2022

Hard reset

IT is done. What should have been a routine matter in simpler times had this year become a vortex that seemingly...
Order of precedence
25 Nov, 2022

Order of precedence

IN Pakistan as well as abroad, there are few illusions about who actually calls the shots in this country. This...
Politicised police
25 Nov, 2022

Politicised police

AN important case is being heard at the Supreme Court these days, whose outcome could have a far-reaching impact on ...
Farewell to arms
Updated 24 Nov, 2022

Farewell to arms

The good general failed to tell us what motivated his institution to quit politics in his last year in power.
Currency crisis
24 Nov, 2022

Currency crisis

NOMURA, a top financial services company based in Japan, has included Pakistan among seven countries threatened by a...
Privilege and policing
24 Nov, 2022

Privilege and policing

POOR policing and privilege collided in what could have been an entirely preventable tragedy. A young man — a...