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No US-Pak strategic dialogue before year-end: report

August 24, 2012 13:23 IST

The strategic dialogue between Pakistan and the US will not resume before the end of the year as Washington has not shown any enthusiasm for the early resumption of the talks, a media report said on Friday.

The two countries are yet to frame a schedule for the resumption of the strategic dialogue, The News daily quoted its sources as saying.

Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani is of the view that the strategic talks will be possible sometime in November, the report said.

The working groups set up by the two sides as part of the dialogue could go into session next month around the time of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's visit to Washington before the beginning of the UN General Assembly session.

However, the resumption of the strategic dialogue next month has been ruled out.

The two countries have agreed in principle to hold the meetings of the working groups but the number of groups has been reduced from 11 to three and this figure could be increased to four, the report said.

Foreign Minister Khar will leave for Washington on September 16.

Her visit will be the first high level bilateral political interaction between Pakistan and the US since ties between the two sides were hit by tensions last year.

A planned visit by Khar to the US was called off last year.

The strategic dialogue was stalled in November last year and since then, the two countries have been informally talking to each other at various forums.

Pakistan-US ties have been affected by a string of crises since early last year, including the killing of two Pakistani men by a CIA contractor in Lahore, the unilateral US military raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and a cross-border NATO air strike that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead.

Islamabad recently ended a seven-month blockade of supply lines to Afghanistan that was imposed after the NATO air strike.

Khar is expected to hold talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington before she attends the UNGA Foreign Ministers' meeting in New York in the third week of September.

President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to lead the Pakistani delegation to the UNGA though a structured meeting between Zardari and his US counterpart is unlikely to be held, sources said.

Questions have also been raised about the Pakistani delegation to the UN being headed by the President.

The opposition has been insisting that Pakistan should be represented at the UNGA by the Prime Minister, who is the chief executive of the country.
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