The visiting US acting Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Alice Wells has appreciably said that Pakistan’s support is critical to the success of American strategy in Afghanistan and has also acknowledged Islamabad’s efforts in eradicating terrorism. Moreover, she has conveyed the US’s desire to work with Pakistan in furthering the shared objectives of stabilizing Afghanistan. She went on to stress the need for strengthening intelligence cooperation between the two sides, in order to improve coordination in counter-terrorism efforts. 

She made these positive and objective statements during her meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua along with Ambassador David Hale in Islamabad the other day. According to the reports in the media, her visit here is part of regular engagement between the two countries on bilateral and regional cooperation. 

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua quite rightly during the meeting underscored that Pakistan’s relationship with the US needed to move forward in an environment of mutual trust and respect. This is highlighted by counter-terrorism actions taken by Pakistan‘s law enforcement agencies, which have contributed to the visible improvement in the security of Pakistan. These comprehensive counter-terrorism actions will also contribute towards peace and stability in the entire region and also expressed concerns about the continued use of Afghan soil by elements hostile to Pakistan, adding that strengthening border management mechanisms between Afghanistan and Pakistan are vital for addressing concerns relating to cross-border movements. 

It is good to note that during the meeting, Pakistan’s positive role in several peace initiatives has been duly appreciated. Furthermore, the two sides have agreed that all initiatives owned and led by the Afghans for seeking a peaceful solution should be supported by all regional countries. 

Such high level contacts should continued to be held in a friendly environment and these will go a long way in removing misunderstandings and creating better appreciation of Islamabad’s stance that it wants trust, respect and proper and due acknowledgement of its determined continued efforts to eliminate terrorism in all manifestation from its sacred soil, no aid but trade. 

ASIM MUNIR,  

Rawalpindi, January 16.