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Top US State Dept official in Pak to review progress in S Asia strategy

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Press Trust of India Washington
A top US State Department official is in Pakistan to review the progress made by Islamabad in President Donald Trump's regional policy, in particular their commitment in the fight against terrorism.
Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at State Department, arrived in Pakistan yesterday.
"While in Islamabad, senior bureau official Wells will discuss our South Asia strategy and Pakistan's stated commitment to eliminate all terrorist groups present in its country, as well as our shared interest in building economic and commercial ties that benefit both nations," the State Department said in a statement.
The department did not give the duration of her stay in Pakistan. However, it said she would be travelling to Karachi.
"Wells will also travel to Karachi to meet with senior government officials and the business community. She will discuss our ongoing efforts to build strong economic and people-to-people ties," the State Department said.
In Islamabad, she will meet with US Embassy staff and several senior Pakistani government officials, international organisation leaders, and members of the private sector.
Wells' visit to Pakistan comes amidst reports that the Trump Administration is considering taking a series of strong measures against Pakistan.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has been nominated by Trump as his next Secretary of State and incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton are known for adopting a tough posture towards Pakistan.
Leading American journal, Foreign Policy magazine this week said the White House was engaged in an internal debate about the tempo and scale of possible punitive steps against Pakistan, "echoing arguments under previous US presidents".
"Some officials and military officers favour a hard line with Pakistan, maintaining that years of aid and accommodation have produced little in return. But other voices in the administration worry about alienating a nuclear-armed country of 200 million people bordering China," it said.

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First Published: Mar 29 2018 | 6:45 AM IST

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