Kerry arrives in Pakistan for two-day visit

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ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday arrived at Nur Khan air base in Rawalpindi on a two-day official visit to Pakistan.

Secretary Kerry, who arrived after visiting India, is expected to meet Pakistan’s political and military leadership and discuss bilateral relations and the regional security situation.

Upon his arrival, a senior official from the US desk of the Foreign Office along with senior protocol officers and senior US embassy diplomats received senator Kerry.

John Kerry will meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later in the evening at the PM house followed by dinner by the premier.

On Tuesday Kerry will lead a US delegation in Pakistan-US strategic dialogue at the Foreign Ministry.

Later in the day he will meet with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif at GHQ and discuss security and defence cooperation between the two countries.

Kerry was unhurt on Monday in a minor accident involving his motorcade as it headed to the airport at the end of his visit to India, his spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

“During the drive to the airport in Ahmedabad, India, two cars in the motorcade had a minor traffic accident resulting in some damage to both cars,” Psaki said in a statement.

Earlier, an FO official had told Dawn, “Following the Peshawar school carnage and the country’s resolve to fight against terrorism in its wake, the visit has assumed great importance”

“Surely, the prime minister will ask Senator Kerry for technical and training assistance for the rapid force that the government has decided to set up under the National Action Plan,” the official said.

Earlier this month, FO spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said at a media briefing, “The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is visiting Pakistan this month for Pak-US Strategic Dialogue. The arrangements are being finalised. And according to Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Jalil Abbas Jilani, the discussions would focus on how to advance bilateral engagement.”

The Pak-US Strategic Dialogue focuses on five areas of cooperation. These are: energy; security, strategic stability and non-proliferation; the defence consultative group; law-enforcement and counter-terrorism; and economy and finance.

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