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

Pakhtuns, state and nationalism
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Pakhtuns, state and nationalism

They have lost the most in the ‘war on terror’. Why then is the PM painting Pakhtuns as a nation of holy warriors?
Unity of faith
15 Oct 2021

Unity of faith

There is unity in the apparent diversity of faith traditions.
The people’s page
Updated 15 Oct 2021

The people’s page

Many are disillusioned with the ‘Naya Pakistan’ narrative.
The next 22 months
Updated 14 Oct 2021

The next 22 months

There are at least 11 key challenges which the government will face in the run-up to the next polls.

Editorial

No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...
One big mess
14 Oct 2021

One big mess

At its core, the tension is the result of blurring of institutional boundaries witnessed since the PTI government came to power.
Tareen’s admission
Updated 14 Oct 2021

Tareen’s admission

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan’s estranged friend Jahangir Khan Tareen has finally confirmed what has long been alleged...
14 Oct 2021

Dengue outbreak

DENGUE cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in several cities of KP and Punjab. According to data provided by...