US needs Pakistan till the time it is in Afghanistan: Kugelman

US needs Pakistan till the time it is in Afghanistan: Kugelman

ISLAMABAD - Addressing a session at the Pakistan-US dialogue, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif said Pakistan has long-standing ties with the US. But, he added, they have reservations over the new US policy that blames Pakistan for instability in the region, including Afghanistan.

In fact, Asif said, they wish for stability and restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

The foreign minister also stated that there is no organised presence of terrorists in the country.

The Track 2-1.5 meeting in Islamabad was attended by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale and Wilson Center Asia Program Deputy Director Michael Kugelman among others.

Earlier, during the opening session of the meeting, Hale spoke about the new US policy, saying it was based on regional realities and aimed at closing down terrorist safe havens. He added the Taliban will have to be pressurised until they agree to hold talks.

Also present on the occasion, Kugelman said the relationship between theUS and Pakistan was going through a tough phase, but the former would need the latter till [US is] in Afghanistan.

The fourth round of Track 2-1.5 dialogue will end on November 7.

The first round of the dialogue was held in Kabul, second in Washington and third in Islamabad. During the current round, new US policy by President Donald Trump is being discussed, along with other issues.

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