Jan 25, 2014, 4:54 PM
News Code: 2626459
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Pakistan adviser leaves for Washington to attend Strategic Dialogue

Islamabad, Jan 25, IRNA -- Pakistan’s Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, has left for Washington to attend the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue on January 27, officials said Saturday.

Secretary of State John Kerry will host the Pakistani National Security Adviser at the Department of State for the ministerial-level meeting as part of the revitalized process.

The dialogue faced a deadlock for three years following tensions in relationship over the unilateral U.S. military raid that had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

The last session of the strategic dialogue had been held in 2010.

The Pakistan-U.S. ministerial level dialogue was revived in August 2013 during Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Pakistan.

Both countries have attached hopes to the meeting however independent observers do not expect much in view of the mistrust. The recent U.S. decision to withhold 300 million dollars aid unless Pakistan frees a doctor who had helped the CIA reach Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan had angrily reacted to the decision and described it as against the spirit of bilateral cooperation. This issue could be taken up in the context of the linkage that has been made between allocation of 33 million dollars with Dr. Shakeel Afridi’s detention, the Foreign Ministry has said.

The CIA-run secret drone campaign in the Pakistani tribal region is also another source of tension as Washington has ruled out any change in the policy despite strong opposition by Islamabad.

Pakistan says the ministerial meeting will review the progress achieved in the five Working Groups and discuss concrete proposals and opportunities for partnership in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation, including strategic stability, defence, energy, economic growth, law-enforcement and counter-terrorism.

“The ministerial level meeting of the Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue will also afford an opportunity to highlight the priorities of the Government of Pakistan for economic development, including expansion of trade and investment,” the Foreign Ministry says.