- Deputy Chief of Mission told enabling environment imperative to further solidify Pakistan-US ties
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday summoned the US Deputy Chief of Mission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and made a demarche to him to convey concerns and disappointment regarding the US-India Joint Statement issued after a meeting between President Joe Biden and visiting Indian Prime Minister Modi on June 22, 2023.
According to a Foreign Office statement, Pakistan in the demarche raised objections to what it described as unwarranted, one-sided, and misleading references made in the joint statement. The Pakistani officials emphasised that the United States should refrain from issuing statements that could be interpreted as endorsing India’s baseless and politically motivated narrative against Pakistan.
Furthermore, the Pakistani authorities stressed the importance of maintaining an enabling environment based on trust and understanding in order to solidify the counter-terrorism cooperation between Pakistan and the United States.
It was also emphasized that counter-terrorism cooperation between Pakistan and the US had been progressing well and that an enabling environment, centered around trust and understanding, was imperative to further solidify Pakistan-US ties.
The US-India statement issued after President Joe Biden laid out a red carpet for Modi, who was on a trip to the US, at the White House where the two countries sealed major defence and technology deals as Washington bets big on India as a counterweight to China.
In an apparent bid to use the visit to further India’s agenda against Islamabad, a joint statement issued by the two heads of state late on Thursday called on Pakistan to crack down on extremists that target New Delhi.
The statement called for action against extremist groups based in Pakistan such as the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The joint statement said: “[The two leaders] strongly condemned cross-border terrorism, the use of terrorist proxies and called on Pakistan to take immediate action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for launching terrorist attacks.” It also called on Pakistan to punish perpetrators of attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
A day earlier, the Biden administration had assured Islamabad that Washington still wanted a stable and prosperous Pakistan.
“A stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan, is not just in the interests of the region but it’s in the interests of the United States as well,” said State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel when asked about possible US support for Pakistan’s efforts to revive an International Monetary Fund aid package.
“We engage regularly with Pakistani officials, and you’ve heard me say this before… Our engagement is critical to our ultimate goal, which is a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan,” said Patel when asked about a meeting between the Pakistani finance minister and the US ambassador in Islamabad.
Reacting to the statement, the Foreign Office (FO) had termed the joint US-India statement “misleading and unwarranted”, saying that the “reference is contrary to diplomatic norms and has political overtones”.
The joint US-India statement was issued against Pakistan after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Joe Biden a day earlier.
Responding to media queries regarding the statement on Friday, FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said: “We consider the Pakistan-specific reference in the ‘Joint Statement from the United States and India’, issued on 22 June 2023, as unwarranted, one-sided, and misleading.
“The reference is contrary to diplomatic norms and has political overtones. We are surprised that it has been added despite Pakistan’s close counterterrorism cooperation with the US.”