No breakthroug, Alice went back empty handed

Islamabad Politics Report: US State Department official visited Pakistan to review the progress made by Islamabad on regional security and stability and met Foreign Secretary Tehmina  and other senior officials, but the meeting ended without any breakthrough, according to sources.

The US Department of State’s Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells visited Islamabad for meetings with Foreign Secretary Tehmina and other senior officials, a statement, issued late on Monday, by the US Embassy said.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokeperson, Mohammad Faisal only shared a picture of Janjua receiving Wells on the micro-blogging site ‘twitter’, but did not share any details of the meeting.

The two sides failed to make any headway, instead some new issues cropped up during the meeting which may further complicate the already strained US-Pak ties, the reports said.

Another round of Pakistan-US talks aimed at getting Islamabad to fulfil Washington’s expectations, envisioned in its South Asia and Afghanistan policy, ended without any breakthrough, sources told.

The agenda of both sides at the meeting at the FO were same as before, with the addition of two new issues – the restrictions on Pakistani diplomats that would come into effect from May 1 and a traffic accident involving US defence attach Col Joseph Hall, who had earlier this month jumped a red light her and hit a motorcyclist, who later died.

Pakistan has demanded waiver of the diplomatic immunity to Hall so that he could be prosecuted.

“There was no forward movement. But at the same time we must acknowledge that both sides continue to remain engaged in search of the elusive common ground,” the source said.

The US has been demanding Islamabad to use its influence to bring Taliban to negotiating table and but the latter said that it has only limited control of rebels who now have areas in Afghanistan to live and operate without any foreign assistance.

This was ambassador Wells’ second trip in less than a month after her last visit to Islamabad between March 28 and April 3.

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