LAHORE – US Coordinator for non-military assistance to Pakistan with the rank of ambassador, Robin Raphel called on former FM and PTI’s Senior Adviser on Foreign and Political Affairs Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri on Wednesday.

US Consul General in Lahore Ms Nina Fite and Political Counselor & Head of Economic Division Michael Gray accompanied her. Robin Raphel said that Pakistan was an important player in the region who could make a major contribution to peace and stability in Afghanistan. She said that Pakistan and the US had begun to talk more positively regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

Kasuri said that Pakistan, US, Afghanistan and Taliban should start serious talks on the post 2014 situation in Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan keenly desired a negotiated settlement as she paid a heavy price of civil war in Afghanistan after Geneva Accord in 1989. He feared that unless the parties concerned reached a negotiated settlement on Afghanistan in time, the consequences for Pakistan and the US would be even worse than those following the civil war. He said that the PTI felt that the drone strikes were counterproductive and their use in tribal areas was promoting extremism as a large number of innocent civilians were losing their lives. He said that the masses desperately wanted a change and looked towards the PTI for this purpose.