WASHINGTON – Pakistan and United States held wide ranging talks at ministerial level to review the bilateral relations and agreed to enhance cooperation in different fields and maintain high level contacts between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and US Secretary of State Antony Blinkin held the talks at the State Department in Washington yesterday. Bilawal apprised his US counterpart about the latest situation in IIOJK and attempts by Indian government to make demographic changes in the occupied valley. Regional security situation including Afghanistan also came under discussion and both the sides agreed emerging threats of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan need to be tackled timely with joint counter-terrorism cooperation. The foreign minister apprised his US counterpart about the massive devastation caused by floods in Pakistan. The foreign minister thanked the US Government for the solidarity it expressed with the flood victims by assistance of $55 million and underscored that the recent visits of the US Congressional delegations and the members of Biden Administration to Pakistan were a manifestation of the empathy that the United States had for the flood victims and the people of Pakistan. Bilawal Bhutto stressed that even though Pakistan was responsible for less than 1 per cent of global emissions it was bearing the brunt of climate crisis. He underscored that there was enormous potential for deepening and widening the Pak-US bilateral ties, particularly in the areas of trade and investment and in reinforcing people-to-people relations – based on mutual trust and mutual respect. The FM highlighted the deteriorating situation of human rights in India Occupied Kashmir and, in particular, how it was affecting the plight of Kashmiris there and emphasized the centrality of Kashmir dispute resolution for the regional peace and stability.US Secretary Blinkin Secretary Blinkin reaffirmed that the US would widen its engagement with Pakistan in various areas including climate change, health, energy, and trade and investment. He offered condolences over the loss of precious lives in Pakistan due to the devastating floods. He maintained that the US would support Pakistan in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process. Both the sides also discussed the regional situation and emphasized the need for peace, development, and stability in Afghanistan.