Washington: Pakistani Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived Sunday with a high-power
delegation to hold the first-ever strategic dialogue with the
US leaders, during which it is expected to seek civilian
nuclear deal and military equipments aimed at balancing its
power with India.
Prominent members of the delegation include Pakistani
Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, ISI Chief Lt Gen
Shuja Pasha and Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar.
While Obama Administration has said it would mark
major intensification of its partnership with India; but
clarified that US-Pak strategic dialogue is not at the expense
of India or any other country.
At a news briefing, Special US Representative for
Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said the strategic
dialogue means that the two countries talk about their basic
core objectives, which defeating, destroying al Qaeda, helping
the Afghans become self-reliant so they can take care of their
It also means strengthening Pakistan's ability to own
security, development, strengthening democratic institutions.
"So we need to sit down with our Pakistani friends and
hear their points of view and give us ours. Now, we've all
been going to Islamabad and they've all been coming here," he
said, adding beyond the strategic discussions, the broad range
discussions, include to move into operational things in such
areas as water, energy and other issues.
Besides participating in the first ever strategic
dialogue with the United States on March 24, Qureshi would
also meet some several US lawmakers; including the Chairman of
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would lead the US
delegation to the strategic dialogue.
Other members of the delegation are Secretary of
Defence Robert Gates; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Admiral Mullen; Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; Deputy
Secretary of State Jack Lew; Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
Neal Wolin; National Security Council Senior Director David
Lipton; Deputy US Trade Representative Marantis; the
administrator of USAID, Raj Shah; US Ambassador to Pakistan
Anne Patterson, and Undersecretary of State for Public
Diplomacy Judith McHale.
First Published: Sunday, March 21, 2010, 20:51