Meeting with Mike Pence: Abbasi to convey Pakistan’s concerns over Afghan policy

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PM Abbasi at UN

By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will meet US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York and will convey Pakistan’s stance on Donald Trump’s new roadmap for South Asia.
In August this year, President Trump cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan, backtracking from his promise to swiftly end America’s longest-ever war, while accusing Pakistan of “offering safe haven” to “agents of chaos.”
According to media reports, PM Abbasi will make it clear that Pakistan is not looking for material or financial assistance from the US, but rather an acknowledgement of the country’s contributions in the war on terror and for peace in Afghanistan.
He will also underscore the importance a peaceful Afghanistan holds for Pakistan, besides highlighting that efforts for peace in the neighbouring country are not aimed at appeasing anyone, but are in accordance with Pakistan’s national interest and policy, say the sources.
PM Abbasi will stress that collaboration among all stakeholders is the key to bringing the ongoing war in Afghanistan to its logical conclusion, according to the sources. He will highlight that the US military strategy on Afghanistan is bound to fail once again, insisting on a political settlement and for this strategy to be inclusive.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who is accompanying the PM, will visit Washington to meet his counterpart. “He will convey to his counterpart that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community to eliminate terrorism and that its sacrifices must be acknowledged.
The prime minister will also address the Council on Foreign Relations and interact with the US-Pakistan Business Council.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly Session, Abbasi will hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders including Presidents of Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan and the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The Annual Session of the General Assembly has special significance as it is attended by a large number of heads of states and governments.

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