Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated Pakistan’s “desires to maintain a long-term and multi-domain enduring relationship with the US.”
The was stated by Gen Bajwa during a meeting with US Charge d’Affairs Angela Aggeler who called on him on Friday at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, said an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement.
Separately, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan considers the United States a “friend” as both countries have a history of close cooperative relations, which have served our shared interests.
Earlier, during the meeting, US Charge d’Affairs and the Army chief discussed matters of mutual interest, the current security situation in Afghanistan and bilateral cooperation in various fields.
“Pakistan remains committed to the Afghan peace process and will continue to work with all stakeholders for a peaceful settlement,” reiterated the army chief in the meeting.
The US diplomat acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s continuous support for peace and stability in the region and pledged to further enhance bilateral relations between both the countries, the ISPR communiqué read.
FO SPOKESMAN BRIEFING: Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri during the media briefing highlighted the importance Pakistan attached to its ties with the US.
“On Pakistan’s relation with the United States, we believe that both countries have a history of close cooperative relations, which have served our shared interests,” Chaudhri said.
He said that Pakistan had a “convergence of views and interests on a number of key issues, including the ongoing Afghan peace process, with the US.”
“We both believe that there’s no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and we both want to see peace in Afghanistan,” he went on to say.
“Both Pakistan and the US supported an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan through a process that was owned and led by Afghans themselves.”
Spokesperson Chaudhri said that Pakistan played a key role in facilitating the US-Taliban agreement for peace in Afghanistan in February last year. “We consider the United States a friend and want broad-based relations to achieve our shared objective of peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.”
Relations between Pakistan and the US are challenged by the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan with President Joe Biden refusing to speak to the prime minister despite being in office for 6 months.
Although the Biden administration underscored the importance of Pakistan’s role in the Afghan endgame publicly, privately they were not happy with Islamabad’s approach.
Pakistan had maintained that the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw troops without any conditions had complicated the problem and that its influence over the Taliban had diminished.
Biden has not just spoken to the prime minister but is also thought to be not forthcoming to Pakistan’s efforts seeking broad-based ties with the US.
“We have repeatedly stated that neither should Pakistan be looked at through the prism of another country nor should our relations be viewed narrowly,” the spokesperson said.
“We want to build long-term, broad-based, comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnerships rather than having transactional relations,” he added.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan would take all such decisions and pursue policies that were in its national interest and contribute to peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.
Replying to a question, Chaudhri said Pakistan always advocated “responsible and orderly” withdrawal of US forces as a hasty drawdown would leave a security vacuum.