US engaged in intense strategic talks with Pak: Holbrooke

Special US Representative for Pakistan & Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke has said the Obama Administration is engaged in intense strategic discussion with Pakistan.

Washington: Making his 14th trip to Pakistan
in 18 months he has been in this position, Special US
Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke
has said the Obama Administration is engaged in intense
strategic discussion with Pakistan which is yielding desired

"In terms of my trip to Islamabad, this will be my 14th
trip to Pakistan since I took this job, my second in less than
a month. We are focused on a very intense follow-up to the
strategic dialogue which took place here in Washington on
March 24th and 25th.

In that dialogue, 13 working groups were set up,"
Holbrooke told reporters at a news conference here.

Holbrooke said Pakistan`s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood
Qureshi asked that all the groups visit Islamabad to discuss

These groups are Agriculture; Communications and Public
Diplomacy; Defense; Economics and Finance; Education; Energy;
Health; Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism; Market Access;
Science and Technology; Security, Strategic Stability and
Nonproliferation; Water; Women`s Empowerment.

All these groups met in Islamabad recently.
"When I was there a few weeks ago, two-and-a-half weeks
ago, I met with Foreign Minister Qureshi and representatives
of all the groups, and that process is continuing apace. And
that is the critical operational detail in the strategic
dialogue," he said.

"In addition, we will have continuing discussions in
Islamabad with the government on their dialogue with
Afghanistan, very important dialogue which I believe is
beginning to show signs of some degree of building some degree
of mutual confidence between Kabul and Islamabad," Holbrooke

"Nothing could be more important to the resolution of the
war in Afghanistan than a common understanding between
Afghanistan and Pakistan on what their strategic purpose is,"
he said.

"That`s a really important issue, and it`s one that is a
long, arduous, complicated process because of the complicated
history between the two countries, going back to the day that
Pakistan became an independent state. So it is a long-standing
goal of this administration.

From the early part of this administration, we`ve
identified that as a critical issue, and we are continuing to
work on it," Holbrooke said.


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