US engaged in intense strategic talks with Pakistan: Holbrooke | world | Hindustan Times
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US engaged in intense strategic talks with Pakistan: Holbrooke

world Updated: Jul 14, 2010 07:56 IST

PTI
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Making his 14th trip to Pakistan in 18 months, Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke has said the Obama Administration is engaged in intense strategic discussion with Pakistan which is yielding desired results.

"In terms of my trip to Islamabad, this will be my 14th trip to Pakistan since I took this job, my second in less than a month. We are focused on a very intense follow-up to the strategic dialogue which took place here in Washington on March 24th and 25th.

In that dialogue, 13 working groups were set up," Holbrooke told reporters at a news conference here.

Holbrooke said Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi asked that all the groups visit Islamabad to discuss activities.

These groups are Agriculture; Communications and Public Diplomacy; Defense; Economics and Finance; Education; Energy; Health; Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism; Market Access;
Science and Technology; Security, Strategic Stability and Nonproliferation; Water; Women's Empowerment.

All these groups met in Islamabad recently.

"When I was there a few weeks ago, two-and-a-half weeks ago, I met with Foreign Minister Qureshi and representatives of all the groups, and that process is continuing apace. And
that is the critical operational detail in the strategic dialogue," he said.

"In addition, we will have continuing discussions in Islamabad with the government on their dialogue with Afghanistan, very important dialogue which I believe is
beginning to show signs of some degree of building some degree of mutual confidence between Kabul and Islamabad," Holbrook said.

"Nothing could be more important to the resolution of the war in Afghanistan than a common understanding between Afghanistan and Pakistan on what their strategic purpose is," he said.

"That's a really important issue, and it's one that is a long, arduous, complicated process because of the complicated history between the two countries, going back to the day that Pakistan became an independent state. So it is a long-standing goal of this administration.

From the early part of this administration, we've identified that as a critical issue, and we are continuing to work on it," Holbrooke said.