US will wait for Pakistan to reassess ties: AfPak envoyJanuary 20th, 2012 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Seeking to downplay Pakistan’s refusal to allow him to visit the country, US Special Representative for the Afghanistan-Pakistan region Marc Grossman Friday said he will wait till Islamabad re-evaluates its relationship with Washington.
Grossman’s comments came on a day Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said relations with the US remain on hold following the NATO attack in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border.
“The Pakistan government has sought time to re-evaluate its relationship with the US. I respect that. I would be ready for talks when Pakistan is ready to have a conversation. I’m ready at any time, at any place,” Grossman told reporters after meeting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai here.
“What I would say is that of course we follow issues in Pakistan carefully. Relationship between Pakistan and US is very important,” he said.
Besides Mathai, Grossman held talks with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and India’s AfPak envoy Satinder K. Lambah. The talks focused on the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with Grossman pitching for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
“We reviewed the situation in Afghanistan and I appreciated his desire to continue this conversation between the United States and India on this important subject,” he said after talks with Mathai.
Amidst the ongoing political turmoil in Pakistan, Grossman stressed that the US backed the civilian government and democracy there.
“We support the civilian government in Pakistan and democracy in Pakistan,” he said.
“But you know, this is a question for the Pakistanis, this is an internal question for them. They have their own ways of going forward and, so I wouldn’t comment any further on their internal developments,” he said when asked to comment on the standoff between the army and the civilian government in Pakistan.
The envoy added that the US would continue to reinforce its conversation with Pakistan on the situation in Afghanistan and called for reviving a trilateral dialogue.
“What happens between Afghanistan and Pakistan is extremely important. We encourage dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’d like again to get into the meeting of the Core Group - Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US — because I think a conversation about all these things is really necessary,” he said.
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