A five-member US delegation reached Pakistan on Friday and met with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz as relations between the two countries hit a low after a US drone strike killed Taliban Leader Mullah Mansour in Balochistan.
Senior US officials, including Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the US National Security Council Dr Peter Lavoy and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson, are part of the US delegation.
During their stay, both officials are to meet Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua as well.
This will be the first high-level contact between the two countries after Afghan Taliban Chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a US drone attack in Balochistan last month.
Talks are expected to be tough as Pakistan will convey its strong concerns over the drone strike as well as the growing defence cooperation between the US and India.
Sartaj said the US had sabotaged the Afghan reconciliation process by killing Mansour. Pakistan believes the US move was contrary to the decision of four-nation initiative that, according to the adviser, agreed to give peace a chance.
Pakistan has signalled that it may reassess its ties with the United States in the wake of recent developments, including closer defence ties between Washington and New Delhi.
“Relations between Pakistan and the US need to be reassessed,” said Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz at a news conference on Thursday.
Speaking against the backdrop of apparent strains in ties between the US and Pakistan as a result of the recent drone strike in Balochistan, the adviser conceded that Washington “abandons us when it doesn’t need our help.”
“This has been happening for the last 60 years. The US approaches Pakistan whenever it needs our help but abandons us when its objectives are achieved,” he said.
Aziz also said that there should be no discriminatory approach over granting membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group to non-NPT countries.