U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman to visit India and Pakistan in October

Published : September 29, 2021 15:32 IST

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Amidst Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and perceptions that Pakistan might influence the extremist group to step up its terror activities in India, a top diplomat in the Joe Biden administration will be visiting India and Pakistan next month to hold talks on bilateral and regional issues, according to a statement issued by the United States State Department.

The statement said: “Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman will be in New Delhi on October 6 for a series of bilateral meetings, civil society events, and the India Ideas Summit. On October 7, she will travel to Mumbai for her engagements with business and civil society.”

The announcement comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral summit with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Wendy Sherman will, after her two day visit to India, head to Islamabad to meet with senior officials in Pakistan.

India and the U.S. are scheduled to hold their first 2+2 summit under the Biden administration in November. Wendy Sherman’s visit to Pakistan will be one of the first high-level official visits of any U.S. diplomat to Pakistan under President Joe Biden. Earlier, Bill Burns, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief, visited Pakistan on September 9.

Wendy Sherman’s visit to Pakistan assumes significance as Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recently blamed the U.S. for the situation in Afghanistan, using phrases such as “the plunder of the developing world by their corrupt elites”. In his address at the United Nations General Assembly session on September 24, Imran Khan said Pakistan had suffered from the fight against terror.

“For the current situation in Afghanistan, for some reason, Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe,” Khan said. “From this platform, I want them all to know, the country that suffered the most, apart from Afghanistan, was Pakistan when we joined the U.S. war on terror after 9/11.”

It is pertinent to mention that the U.N. said it was hopeful of a dialogue between India and Pakistan despite the exchange of bitter remarks between the two nuclear-armed nations at the U.N. General Assembly session.

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