ISLAMABAD: As per details shared by Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the country’s delegation will be led by Syed Haider Shah, Additional Secretary (UN&RD), while the US side will be headed by Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism Christopher Landberg.
“The dialogue is aimed at discussing common threat of terrorism, cooperation at multilateral fora and countering financing of terrorism,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
“The US and Pakistan will discuss the shared terrorist threats facing our two countries and develop policy-oriented strategies regarding cooperation in critical areas such as border security and countering the financing of terrorism. “
The meeting holds major importance for Pakistan as the country faces daunting challenge of resurgence of terrorism with wide range of terror attacks continue across the country, especially along the country’s border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan is witnessing a resurgence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terror group, which has claimed responsibility of a number of attacks in the country recently.
The TTP re-emergence in the country has gained momentum after the Afghan Taliban took over control in Afghanistan and released thousands of terrorists of TTP and other groups.
The previous government under Imran Khan had conducted peace talks with the group under facilitation of the Afghan Taliban in Kabul, under which, thousands of TTP militants were not only allowed to come back to their hometowns in the country, but were also allowed to resettle their families as well.
However, the peace talks became a breach to exploit for the TTP, who used the time and space to regroup their operations in the country, which were activated after the peace talks were cancelled by the terror outfit, accusing the Pakistan government of not fulfilling its commitments.
Pakistan has been calling on the Afghan Taliban in Kabul to take action against TTP militants operating out of Afghan soil and also to stop providing support to the group, a demand that the Afghan Taliban reject and refuse to comply with.
It is because of the negative response of the Afghan Taliban to Islamabad’s demands that is reportedly compelling the government to reset and come back to counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing understanding with Washington, making the two-day dialogue process even more critical and crucial.
Experts say that the Afghan Taliban do not want to stop supporting the TTP because they are aware of Pakistan’s current capacity to launch a sustained military offensive against the TTP.
However, Islamabad’s willingness to change its Afghan policy and rub shoulders with the US on counterterrorism operations, is certainly an alarm bell for the Afghan Taliban.
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