Secretary Kerry Talks to Pakistani Official About Diplomatic Ties in the Region

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz

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Washington, DC – The United States today spoke about the regional cooperation in the Indian peninsula when the top US diplomat met with a Pakistani official on the sidelines of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London.

According to an email statement from a Senior US State Department Official, “Secretary Kerry met with Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz this afternoon in London on the margins of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.”

The official noted, “They discussed regional economic integration as well as regional relations between Pakistan and India and Pakistan and Afghanistan given changes in government leadership in both countries.”

In light of the recent attacks on the Karachi Airport, Secretary Kerry reaffirmed the steadfast commitment to the people of Pakistan from the US, “in their efforts to counter terrorism and build a peaceful and prosperous future.” “He made clear that we have a shared interest in building a safer and more prosperous Pakistan,” said the statement.

On the other hand, the US was still refusing to even confirm that newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be visiting the US in near future.

Earlier when asked to corroborate media reports from New Delhi of Modi’s arrival in Washington, DC later this year, the US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf did not confirm, but instead reminded the journalists of recent phone calls and statements from both President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry, welcoming Modi.

During a recent daily press briefing, Harf reiterated, “As we said at the time – as President Obama and Secretary Kerry both said, we look forward to welcoming the prime minister to Washington; nothing to announce on timing at this point.”

Further pressed to outline the nature of this US welcome, Harf replied, “I don’t have any more details. We said we look forward to welcoming him.”

Indian media reports however, quoting official sources, announced that Modi would travel to Washington in the last week of September for a bilateral summit with Obama rather than meet during Obama’s visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

In 2005, the US State Department used domestic laws to scrap Modi’s visa because then Gujarat chief minister Modi was, “responsible for the (lack of) performance of state institutions,” during communal riots in Gujarat in 2002. Although the US failed to resolve the decade old pariah status meted out to Modi following the events of 2002, Narendra Modi was elected prime minister of India with a thumping majority. This hiccup posed a dilemma in bilateral relationships between India and the US.

The allegations, which were never agreed upon by any domestic court or any other investigating body in India, insinuated that Modi turned a blind eye to the riots, which may have resulted in the killing of hundreds of people, mostly Muslims. Over the years, Modi has denied any wrongdoing and a Supreme Court monitored investigation cleared him of any charges of complicity.

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