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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United States on Tuesday held deliberations on the bilateral relations, its current trajectory and future direction, the Foreign Office said.

According to the Foreign Office spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood held wide-ranging consultations with Ambassador David Hale, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the US State Department on Tuesday.

He said that the two sides reviewed Pakistan-US bilateral relationship, its present trajectory, and future direction.

The foreign secretary said that Pakistan attached high priority to its relationship with the US with a focus on enhanced economic engagement and people-to-people contacts.

He reiterated Pakistan's desire to forge a strong and mutually-beneficial economic partnership with the United States.

He added that a broad-based and enduring partnership between the two countries, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump, was a factor of stability in the region.

In the regional context, the spokesperson said that the two sides shared their perspectives on the progress made in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The foreign secretary reaffirmed Pakistan's steadfast support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, and expressed the hope that the Afghan parties would seize this historic opportunity and secure an inclusive and comprehensive political solution through intra-Afghan negotiations.

Chaudhri further said that the two sides also exchanged views on peace and stability in South Asia.

He said that the foreign secretary highlighted India's illegal and unilateral action of 5th August 2019 and its aftermath, focusing in particular on massive human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, and intensified ceasefire violations along the LoC.

He underlined that India's continuing military siege in the IIOJK and its aggressive posturing against Pakistan posed a threat to peace and security.

"It was imperative to take steps to prevent escalation of tensions and to facilitate peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute," the foreign secretary said.

Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington Asad Majeed Khan and US Charge'd Affairs in Islamabad, Ambassador Paul Jones along with senior officials from both sides also attended the virtual consultations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020