WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistani officials are considering various options for Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Bajwa to visit the United States in late August or early September, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

“A date will soon be finalized,” a source said. Since the visit has not yet been officially confirmed, neither side has announced the agenda of the talks Gen Bajwa is likely to hold in Washington.

But diplomatic circles and think-tank experts point out that both sides have been trying to arrange such a visit for more than a year now. They also refer to various recent events and statements that might be discussed if and when Gen Bajwa visits Washington.

“We remain engaged with a range of stakeholders in Pakistan, (including) those currently in the government” and with “a broad array of others,” the department’s spokesperson Ned Price said.

Last month, Gen Bajwa reached out to Washington to request help in securing an early disbursement of funds from the IMF. He spoke with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and later a State Department official rejected media speculations that the call was linked to the current political situation in Pakistan.

Later, Gen Bajwa also spoke with Commander US Centcom Gen Michael Erik Kurilla and, according to an official statement, the two discussed “matters of mutual interests, regional stability as well as defence and security cooperation in detail.”

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2022

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