Islamabad – An interagency delegation, including Deputy Assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for South and Central Asia Lisa Curtis; Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Alice Wells; Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Helvey; Major General George Smith, Director, Department of Defense Central Command J5; and Brigadier General James Bierman, Deputy Director, Political-Military Affairs Middle East, Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff traveled to Islamabad from October 12 to October 13 to discuss the United States’ new South Asia Strategy.
In Islamabad, the U.S. delegation met with Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and took part in a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and a Pakistani interagency team. In addition, the U.S. delegation also met with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
In all meetings with Pakistan’s leaders, the U.S. delegation expressed appreciation for Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. The delegation also outlined the United States’ new South Asia Strategy and the important role that Pakistan can play in working with the United States and others to facilitate a peace process that can bring stability and security to the region. The delegation noted that Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with U.S. efforts in the region, including the establishment of a stable, peaceful Afghanistan, the defeat of ISIS in South Asia, and the elimination of terrorist groups that threaten both Pakistan and the United States. The delegation welcomed Army Chief General Bajwa’s recent initiative in leading an interagency team on a visit to Kabul to explore cooperation with Afghanistan. The delegation also emphasized the importance of reducing nuclear dangers in South Asia. The delegation pledged a continued robust dialogue with the government of Pakistan as we implement the new South Asia Strategy.
The delegation also expressed their gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani Army in particular for their cooperation in securing the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity.