Several US officials to visit Islamabad in Dec to discuss Afghanistan, other issues

FO spokesperson says three US officials visit is focused on ongoing negotiations with US on several issues

Sunday, December 03, 2023
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch briefing the press in Islamabad on May 18, 2023. — Screengrab/Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islamabad

Pakistan and the United States are holding consultations over several issues including the situation in Afghanistan, said the Foreign Office in a statement issued on Sunday.

FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that the two countries are also exchanging visits in a bid to speed up the consultation process, adding that important US officials are visiting Pakistan over the coming days.

Islamabad has continuously blamed Kabul for rising terrorist attacks and usage of Afghan oil to carry out attacks in its neighbouring country. Recently, Pakistan also asked the Taliban-led government to extradite Hafiz Gul Bahadur after a terrorist affiliated with his group carried out an attack in Bannu.

Two civilians were martyred while 10, including three soldiers, sustained injuries when an Afghan suicide bomber attacked a security forces convoy on November 26.

Pakistan also continues to deport illegal Afghan citizens from the country citing a rise in terror attacks in the country.

Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Julieta Valls Noyes is scheduled to visit the country from December 4 to 6, said the statement.

According to the US State Department, Noyes willmeet with senior government officials, as well as non-governmental and international organisation partners.

During her visit, Noyes will discuss shared efforts to protect vulnerable individuals and accelerate the safe, efficient relocation and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the US immigration pipeline.

Meanwhile, FO spokesperson said that Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West will be visiting Islamabadfrom December 7 to 9 whilePrincipal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Pakistan Elizabeth Horst will pay a visit fromDecember 9 to 12.

"These visits are a part of the ongoingnegotiations with the US on several issues, including the situation in Afghanistan," said the spokesperson, adding that they are not only limited to the issue of Afghanistan.