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Pakistan, US vow to remain engaged

IANS | New York |

Pakistan and the United States have agreed to stay engaged with a constructive approach to achieve shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.

The consensus was reached during a meeting on Tuesday between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.

Both sides discussed issues relating to bilateral relations as well as peace and stability in Afghanistan and the entire region. PM Abbasi shared Pakistan’s concerns and views with regard to the US strategy for South Asia.

“It was a good meeting,” Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua told reporters after the 45-minute meeting between PM Abbasi and Pence that United States had requested, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Responding to questions, she termed the progress made at the meeting as an “ice-breaker”. She said it was agreed that the US would send a delegation to Pakistan in October to continue the talks.

It was the first high-level contact between the two countries, after the announcement of the new US strategy by President Donald Trump on Afghanistan and South Asia, that carried a series of unfounded charges against Pakistan for not doing enough in its fight against terrorism.

The Foreign Secretary said the Prime Minister expressed concern over the greater role that the new policy advocated for India.

She said Abbasi elaborated the points raised by the National Security Committee in which Pakistan categorically rejected allegations contained in President Trump’s speech, saying “scapegoating Pakistan will not help bring stability to Afghanistan”.