Pak, US to discuss Afghan, other issues during Grossman visit

Last Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 21:40

Islamabad: Pakistan and the US will discuss all issues of mutual concern, including peace and security in Afghanistan, during special envoy Marc Grossman`s forthcoming visit to Islamabad, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Grossman, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is scheduled to visit Pakistan to discuss bilateral issues and the situation in the region, particularly Afghanistan, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said during a weekly news briefing.

Though Khan did not announce a date for the visit, reports have said that Grossman is expected to arrive in Islamabad with a high-level delegation on Saturday.

Asked whether a proposed military operation in North Waziristan would figure in the discussions, Khan did not rule out the possibility.

He said: "The visit is part of ongoing engagements between the two countries and when he comes, the two sides will discuss all issues of mutual interest as well as concern. But I am not in a position to tell you what exactly will be discussed".

Answering a question about possible legal action or a protest by Pakistan against a report published in a Bangladeshi weekly about a relationship between Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Pakistan People`s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the spokesman said the matter was "sickening and not even worth commenting on".

Commenting on propaganda that teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai`s case was being used to justify the launch of a military operation in North Waziristan, Khan said it is "unfortunate" that some people were thinking on such lines.
"I think we need to think about what happened and what happened was extremely condemnable, reprehensible and there is no justification whatsoever.

"People will keep coming up with all sorts of stories and conspiracy theories, but I think we only need to focus on the fact that she was attacked and it was a reprehensible act," he said.

Fourteen-year-old Malala, who was targeted by the Pakistani Taliban for speaking out against them, was recently flown to Britain for specialised medical care.
She was shot in the head and neck during an attempted assassination by the Taliban.

Responding to a question about discussions on Afghanistan with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Pakistan last week, Khan said the issue of peace and security in the neighbouring country was discussed.

"The two sides did discuss Afghanistan and that there was a convergence of views on Afghanistan. Both sides attach great importance to peace and stability in Afghanistan," he said.


First Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 21:39
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