ISLAMABAD: Former US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday offered help to Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa in improving bilateral relations.
A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations after a meeting between Gen Bajwa and Amb Khalilzad said the former US official promised to “play his role” for bettering the ties between the two countries.
The ISPR said that besides Afghanistan various facets of bilateral cooperation were discussed during the meeting.
Mr Khalilzad is visiting Pakistan for participating in the National Security Dialogue. He had closely worked with Gen Bajwa on Afghan peace and reconciliation as the special envoy.
Relations between the two countries touched a new low after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim that Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Asad Majeed was warned by Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu that Mr Khan’s continuation in office would have repercussions for bilateral ties. PM Khan is facing a no-confidence motion tabled in the National Assembly by the joint opposition.
The National Security Committee that met a day earlier expressed ‘grave concern’ over the United States meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs and decided to lodge a strong protest with it. Demarches were later in the night delivered by the Foreign Office to US Charge d’ Affaires in Islamabad and State Department.
White House and State Department have denied the allegation.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who too had been invited to the Dialogue and was expected to make a video statement, reportedly skipped the event because of the new controversy.
Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2022