Pakistan no longer a priority for US: Chinese think tank

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 22:38

Beijing: US may not provide assistance to Pakistan as it did before since Islamabad is no longer a priority for Washington in view of plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, a state-run Chinese think tank said.

"Since Pakistan is no longer a priority in US diplomacy, the Obama administration is unlikely provide it with as much assistance as before," an article by Fu Xiaoqiang from China Institute of Contemporary International Relations published in the state run Global Times said today.

For the US, the strategic focus in the next stage lies in withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan and pursuing Asia-Pacific rebalancing, it said.

US President Barack Obama hopes to realise regional stability and ensure due US interests in Afghanistan, while Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif attaches importance to supporting a Pakistan-friendly Afghan regime, it said.

"Kerry`s trip to Islamabad may help normalize US-Pakistani ties through consultations on regional and bilateral cooperation" it said.

"But the paths of the two countries will still diverge as the war on the terror winds down," it added. The article also asked United States to address Pakistan’s concerns over India`s "interference" in Afghanistan besides making efforts to improve ties between Kabul and Islamabad.
"Washington should take into account Islamabad`s security concerns. In order to abate Islamabad`s anxiety over security issues, Washington must make efforts to ease the tense relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan," it said.
It added that the US also needs to alleviate Pakistan`s worries about India`s interference into Afghan affairs.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 22:38
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