US terms Pakistan ‘important partner’ amid Gen Asim Munir’s maiden Washington visit

State Dept official reiterates Washington’s resolve to continue its partnership with Islamabad on security issues

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. —ISPR/AFP file
  • Gen Asim Munir in US on first official visit.
  • COAS met Secretary Defence Lloyd Austin.
  • No confirmation about Blinken meeting.

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday reiterated its commitment to continuing its partnership with Pakistan on regional defence and security-related matters amid Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir’s maiden visit to the country.

The News reached out to the US Department of State to confirm if the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Asim Munir, had a meeting with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

A spokesperson of the State Department, without confirming if such a meeting took place, stated that Pakistan was an important partner and “we engage with a wide range of interlocutors within the Pakistani government”.

Pakistan’s army chief is on his first official visit to the US, where he met US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday. The brief readout released by the Pentagon stated that the two officials “discussed recent regional security developments and potential areas for bilateral defence cooperation.”

Earlier, the ISPR had issued a statement saying that the army chief was to hold meetings with senior US officials during his Washington visit.

Though no names or designations of American officials were mentioned in the note, some officials familiar with the army chief’s trip details had hinted that he would be meeting with the US Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor and US Secretary of State.

‘US stands with Pakistan against terrorism’

Last week, the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, conveyed Washington’s resolve to “stand with Pakistan” in its fight against terrorism and challenges posed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Following his two-day visit to Islamabad, the US envoy said he held meetings with Pakistani officials on regional security and protection of Afghan refugees, among other important matters.

Taking to his official account on X, formerly Twitter, the American diplomat also shared the details of his meetings with Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, COAS Gen Asim, Pakistan’s Special Representative on Afghanistan Asif Durrani, and Interior Secretary Aftab Akbar Durrani.

West, in another post, mentioned Washington’s resolve to stand with Islamabad against terrorism in the region as well as touched upon matters about the ongoing repatriation of illegal foreigners.

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