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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is arriving in Islamabad on Tuesday (24 October) for talks with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.  Rex Tillerson is visiting Pakistan on invitation of Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.  Pakistan-US relations, stability in Afghanistan and regional security issues will be discussed during the meetings.

Analysts on Telephone

Dr. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema (IR Expert):

The visit of Secretary Tillerson is very much important. It will give Pakistan an opportunity for clarifications and to show concerns in front of the US. After Prime Minister’s speech in United Nations, the US has started understanding our concerns. In his visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Tillerson has tried to defuse the tensions. The US will never annoy India for Pakistan because of its strategic interests in New Delhi. The US is trying to establish India as counterweight to China. However, India will never stand with the US during its possible confrontation with China.

Dr. Muhammad Khan (Defense Analyst):

Both the countries have done proper homework before this visit. It is expected that Secretary of the State will start a fresh beginning with Pakistan. Pakistan should demand the US to recognize its role in fight against terrorism. The TTP's heads and other terrorists are hiding in Afghanistan. Afghanistan government, intelligence agencies and CIA are supporting these terrorists. We should tell the world that Pakistan will never compromise on its sovereignty. If the US relations with India disturb balance of power, Pakistan will have concerns over these relations. It is the US responsibility to establish peace in Afghanistan.

Dr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan (IR Expert):

After Donald Trump’s speech about South Asia, relations between two countries disturbed. The climate is changing and the US has realized importance of Pakistan. The visit of Secretary of the State underscores the fact that the US will continue its engagement with Pakistan. The US is listening Pakistan’s stance on regional issues. The official and delegates of both the countries have exchanged the visits, which show that ice is melting between the two countries. The US has reached to the conclusion that Pakistan’s role is significant for peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan is considering revisiting its foreign policy in the wake of current developments. The quadrilateral meetings are also on the cards to resolve Afghanistan issue.  

Brig. Retd. Said Nazeer (Defence Analyst):

After Donald Trump’s new policy for South Asia, the US decided to engage Pakistan once more. Pakistan has been playing a key role in American war and peace efforts in Afghanistan. The US is losing its war in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister visited the US and talked to different officials. Pakistan should also look towards new alliances in the region. Pakistan should avoid confrontation with the US but should not compromise on strategic interests. Afghanistan issue should be resolved by regional countries. 

Host: Hafiz Abdul Maajid


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