The United States and Pakistan reaffirmed their commitment to a wide-ranging strategic partnership as Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met at the State Department on Friday.
Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, said that the purpose of the meeting was to dispel the ‘misgivings’ being projected in parts of the media following recent incidents, including the Raymond Davis episode and US drone strikes in tribal areas, which Islamabad says are counterproductive.
Clinton, whose appearance in the meeting reflected the level of US commitment to the important relationship between the two countries, said the two countries should ‘work and succeed together’, according to Haqqani.
In a sign of continued commitment to sustain the strategic partnership, while at the same time addressing the differences in approaching issues, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman will visit Pakistan next week, Haqqani said.
Bashir and his delegation, including Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Deputy Chief of Mission Iffat Gardezi, Director General Americas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Suhail Khan and Spokesperson of the Foreign Office Tehmina Janjua, met with Deputy Secretary Thomas Nide, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake.
Welcoming the Pakistani diplomats, Nide noted that the US has a ‘deep partnership’ with Pakistan.
Bashir was assured by his American interlocutors that Washington stands for the stability of the country, as a stable Pakistan is in the interests of everyone including the US.
“We also underscored the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” Haqqani told the media.
Both sides ‘shared their strategic vision’ at a meeting of the steering group – led by Bashir and Grossman – as they met to stress common objectives towards anti-terror success, Haqqani said.
He also said that Pakistan has offered the biggest sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, which must be acknowledged.
Speaking in the context of contentious headlines in the media on the state of bilateral ties between the US and Pakistan, Haqqani stressed that the countries’ relationship endures and retains its strength.