The United States (US) has said it looks forward to building on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s hopeful visit to Islamabad and improve the relationship – strained by the open voicing of differences since the start of the year.
Speaking at Pakistan’s Defence Day, a senior US Pentagon official noted that the top American diplomat – who met with new Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and military chief “emerged from that visit with some very hopeful words.”
“We are very heartened by that that Secretary Pompeo had those views coming out of that visit. Gen Dunford, I am sure, shared those. We look forward to building on the momentum that that visit created,” Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, said at an event marking Pakistan Defence Day at the country’s embassy in Washington DC.
Schriver referred to Secretary Pompeo’s statement that the US looked to reset the relationship with Pakistan. The assistant secretary also referred to Secretary Pompeo’s remarks that every conversation he had during the visit “gave him a sense of hope that we are on a better path and we can improve this relationship, to restore it toward full cooperation in all areas.”
The defence official felicitated the Pakistani nation on the occasion of the Defence Day and particularly appreciated Pakistan for extending full cooperation to the US as it launched operations against terrorists in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He said the US recognises Pakistan’s valuable contribution in the war on terror and emphasised that the US did not take those sacrifices lightly.
“We value this relationship and we value the partnership,” he said.
He noted that the two countries may have differences in a few areas but would continue to promote quality interactions – particularly in the areas of defence and security.
Earlier, Ambassador Ali J. Siddiqui highlighted Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in the fight against terror. Pakistan Army, he said, has been among the largest contributors to the United Nations peacekeeping missions in various conflict-ridden areas around the globe.
On US-Pakistan relations, Ambassador Siddiqui said that a strong and robust military cooperation between Pakistan and the US has always been pivotal to strengthening relations between the two countries. Regular interactions and high-level exchanges would ultimately serve the interest of both the countries, he underscored.
The relations between the two countries deteriorated as Pakistan disagreed with President Trump’s South Asia policy for Afghan stability.