First formal contact of Pakistan and the new US administration
Pakistan and the new US administration on Thursday established their first formal contact when Secretary of State Tony Blinkin and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke by telephone, discussing a wide range of issues from Pakistan’s priorities to the Daniel Pearl murder case.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said the foreign minister congratulated Secretary Blinken on assuming his office.
He underscored Pakistan’s commitment to forge a comprehensive partnership with the United States based on convergence of interests on a whole range of issues.
Highlighting the transformation in Pakistan, the foreign minister stressed that the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan had a new vision that placed premium on forging the economic partnership, building a peaceful neighbourhood, and enhancing regional connectivity.
Foreign Minister Qureshi told Secretary Blinken that peace in Afghanistan through a negotiated political settlement was one of the fundamental convergences between the two countries.
It was essential to have reduction in violence leading to a ceasefire and to work towards securing an inclusive political solution in Afghanistan.
Pakistan had facilitated the Afghan peace process and remained committed to working with the United States as a partner for peace.
The Biden administration intends to review the peace deal with Taliban but Pakistan thinks that all sides need to stick to the current peace efforts as intra-Afghan talks have already advanced into crucial stage.
The foreign minister also highlighted Pakistan’s resolute measures as well as immense sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.
Secretary Blinken recalled the US-Pakistan cooperation over the years and noted that the two countries had a range of areas to engage on. He acknowledged the sacrifices of the people of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.
The recent Supreme Court verdict in the Daniel Pearl murder case also came up during the conversation. The new US administration had already voiced its concerns and asked Pakistan to ensure the killers of the American journalist were brought to justice.
In the context of recent developments in the Daniel Pearl case, the foreign minister underscored that it was important and in the mutual interest that justice is served through legal means. The Foreign Minister highlighted the steps being taken in this regard.
Foreign Minister Qureshi and Secretary Blinken agreed to remain engaged and work together on advancing the two countries’ bilateral agenda and promoting common interests in the region and beyond.