US Assistant Secretary of State en route to Pakistan, regional security on agenda
WASHINGTON: United States (US) acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells on Wednesday has departed for Pakistan on an official visit.
Alice Wells will meet civil and military leadership during her visit to Pakistan.
The visit holds significant importance as she is the first top US official to arrive in Pakistan after US President Donald Trump announced his new Afghan policy and levelled stern allegations of harbouring terrorists against Pakistan in a televised speech on August 21.
Wells is expected to discuss issues related to the region during her meetings with Pakistani officials, besides holding the discussion on Pakistan’s role in the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s relations with its two neighbouring countries – Afghanistan and India – will also expect to come under discussion in the high-level meetings with Pakistani officials.
Moreover, the US official is also likely to discuss agenda of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s upcoming visit to Pakistan.
Visit postponed after Trump’s blistering allegations
In August, Pakistan had postponed Wells visit in protest after US President Trump’s accusation of providing safe havens to terrorists and prolonging the Afghan war.
The visit of Alice Wells – acting assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Asian Affairs – was scheduled on August 28 (Monday).
“At the request of the Government of Pakistan, Acting Assistant Secretary Wells’ trip has been postponed until a mutually convenient time,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson told an international news agency in Islamabad on August 27.
Subsequently, Pakistan’s foreign ministry released a statement echoing similar sentiments.