Qureshi arrives in US to hold strategic dialogue



Qureshi arrives in US to hold strategic dialogue 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 own security.

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.

PTI