Southasia - - REGULAR FEATURES -

U.S. spe­cial en­voy, Marc Gross­man’s re­cent visit to Qatar and ap­par­ent meet­ing with Tal­iban rep­re­sen­ta­tives has caused an up­roar in the al­ready un­sta­ble U.s-pak­istan re­la­tion­ship. While State Depart­ment spokesper­son, Vic­to­ria Nu­land con­firmed that the U.S diplo­mat was in Qatar, she stopped short of nam­ing the Tal­iban group he held talks with. Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence, she also re­it­er­ated Pak­istan’s in­volve­ment in the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process in Afghanistan and dis­pelled any myths re­gard­ing the U.S sidelin­ing Pak­istan in Afghan talks. She re­it­er­ated US Sec­re­tary of State, Hil­lary Clin­ton’s re­marks re­gard­ing the im­por­tance and in­volve­ment of Pak­istan, not only to the peace process in Afghanistan but also to the sta­bil­ity in the South Asian re­gion, at large. She stated that Am­bas­sador Gross­man was ready to visit Pak­istan dur­ing his re­cent trip to the re­gion but Pak­istan, cur­rently re­view­ing its re­la­tion­ship with the U.S., ad­vised the depart­ment of the bad tim­ing. Nu­land con­firmed to the me­dia that this was nor­mal diplo­matic prac­tice and re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries were head­ing to­wards a good foot­ing. Mean­while, Pak­istan has as­sured the U.S. that the am­bas­sador would be wel­come to visit in the near fu­ture, when cor­dial re­la­tions are once again es­tab­lished.

U.S of­fi­cials have also dropped their adamant stance of es­tab­lish­ing a Western style democ­racy in Afghanistan and are now pur­su­ing en­gaged di­a­logue with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Tal­iban, who re­cently opened a po­lit­i­cal li­ai­son of­fice in Qatar that will serve as a base for con­duct­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion talks. Nu­land stated that the U.S is now only look­ing for a com­mit­ment to peace, from the Tal­iban.

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