Pakistan-US backdoor channels established to resolve conflicts

Pakistan-US backdoor channels established to resolve conflicts

Pakistan and United states have established back-channel contacts to resolve their differences over key issues, it has been reported.

A group of former diplomats, military officials and security experts from the two countries held their third off-the-record meeting in Washington to discuss thorny issues including Pakistan's support for Afghan peace, increasing US ties with Pakistan's arch-rival India, New Delhi's role in Afghanistan and Islamabad's drift toward Beijing after initiation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Former Pakistan ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani said the two sides are having frank discussion on issues and will prepare recommendations for the government for future of ties. 

He said the informal interaction, also called the “Track II diplomacy”, aims at bringing private individuals and groups from the two countries to promote better understanding of issues and suggest solutions.

The Pakistan’s current ambassador to the US, Aizaz Chaudhry welcomed the interaction. “Track II is not a substitute for official contacts but officials can benefit from the ideas generated,” he said.

Representatives from Pakistani side also included former head of Military Intelligence Lt Gen (R) Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad and former ambassador to Afghanistan Muhammad Sadiq while US side included former US assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher, former ambassador Robin Raphel and security experts Dr Tricia Bacon and David Smith.

In his policy speech on Afghanistan on Monday, President Donald Trump lashed out at Pakistan urging it to stop giving sanctuary to "agents of chaos, violence and terror."