Pakistan and US will hold a ministerial-level strategic dialogue on key areas today. There will be discussions on issues including counter-terrorism, security and economics.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs will lead the Pakistani delegation, while Secretary of State John Kerry will head the US side of the delegation.
There are 6 segments of the dialogue between the countries, reported The Times of India. Those are cooperation in economy and finances, energy, education, law enforcement, counter terrorism, security, strategic stability, science and technology.
This is the third annual meeting since the present government came to power. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited the US last October and the visit gave boost to the dialogue mechanism.
Notably, the dialogue between the two countries started in 2011 but it was interrupted, when US forces killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. However, the process again started when Aziz and Kerry met in Washington in 2014.
The meeting is arranged just after the approval of the sale of 8 F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan by the Obama administration. The approval was done despite of the strong opposition from India and some American lawmakers.
The Ministry of External Affairs said, “We are disappointed at decision of the Obama administration to notify the sale of F-16 aircrafts to Pakistan. We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism.”
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated, “This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.”
Kerry, on the contrary, defended the sale and argued it would help Pakistan in dealing with terrorism more efficiently. The strategic dialogue was an effort by the Obama administration to reassure Pakistan that its relation to US is not merely because of the link with Afghanistan, as stated by The Express Tribune.
Pakistani Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that the dialogue will help in putting into operation, key future making initiates between the two countries.
There are many terrorist attacks on the country in the recent years. The latest in the trail was the Bacha Khan University attack.