- The Dawn newspaper said that one of the goals of the four-day talks is to make it easier for the two defence departments to work together on strategic issues.
- Mr. Chollet, who does special diplomatic work for the U.S. Secretary of State, will be in Islamabad next week to talk about a wide range of issues.
The foreign office in Islamabad has said that Pakistan and the U.S. will talk about defence on February 13 in Washington. The goal is to improve coordination on strategic issues and look into different ways to strengthen military and security ties between the two countries.
The first round of the Pakistan-US Mid-Level Defense Dialogue was held in Pakistan in January 2021, according to a statement released on Sunday. The talks will last from Monday to Thursday.
The Pakistani team, led by Lt. Gen. Mohammed Saeed, Chief of General Staff, arrived in the U.S. capital on Sunday afternoon. Two major generals, two brigadiers, and an extra secretary for the Americas from the Foreign Ministry named Muhammad Mudassir Tipu make up the delegation.
They will talk to their counterparts at the Pentagon, which is also known as the U.S. Defense Department. After the Chief of Army Staff, the CGS is the second most powerful person in the Pakistan Army. He is in charge of both the intelligence and operational forces in terms of how they are run.
“The chief of general staff will lead Pakistan’s multi-agency delegation, which will be made up of top officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Joint Staff Headquarters, and three service headquarters. The office of the Undersecretary of Defense will represent the U.S. multi-agency team, the foreign office said.
The Ministry said that issues of bilateral defence and security cooperation will be talked about during the defence dialogue.
Recently, relations between the two countries have been getting better, and the defence talks are a kind of sign of that, it said.
The Dawn newspaper said that one of the goals of the four-day talks is to make it easier for the two defence departments to work together on strategic issues.
Counterterrorism dialogue next month
The newspaper also said that in an interview with the paper, U.S. State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet stressed the need to help Islamabad fight terrorists, who recently killed more than 80 people in a mosque in Peshawar’s Police Lines compound.
The report said that Mr. Chollet, who does special diplomatic work for the U.S. Secretary of State, will be in Islamabad next week to talk about a wide range of issues.
When asked what the most important thing on his agenda would be, the senior U.S. diplomat said, “For the U.S., it will be about how we can deepen our partnership and help Pakistan deal with its difficult economic situation.”
He said that Pakistan was still recovering from the floods and was also dealing with a “emerging counterterrorism threat,” which made the situation even worse.
Mr. Chollet said that the US and Pakistan were already taking steps to improve their relationship, which had gotten worse during the Afghan war but started getting better as soon as US troops left Kabul.
“I think the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks will happen in Washington in the last week of February, so the week after I get back… We will also talk about how to stop terrorism next month, he said.
The report also said that the counterterrorism dialogue, which could happen in Islamabad next month, will focus on groups like the banned militant groups Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamic State-Khorasan, which have started doing things again in the area.