US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Islamabad on Wednesday on a day’s visit to begin dialogue with the Nawaz Sharif government, a media report said.
Mr. Kerry was earlier scheduled to come on a two-day visit on Sunday but had to be postponed at the last minute.
Several meetings were held in various ministries, institutions and the Prime Minister’s office to streamline an agreed agenda to be taken up with the US leader, The News daily said in an online report.
This would be Mr. Kerry’s maiden visit to Pakistan after becoming the Secretary of State. He will be meeting with country’s new leadership including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a national security adviser and the new president-elect.
Whether he would meet President Zardari is not yet clear, the report said.
“The visit of Secretary John Kerry will provide a welcome opportunity for the two sides to discuss issues of mutual cooperation and bilateral interest.
“If the two sides agree, there is a possibility of resuming the strategic dialogue during the visit. The discussions will focus on trade, investment and energy cooperation.
“The regional situation will also be discussed with particular reference to post 2014,” the Foreign Office spokesman was quoted as saying.
The report said he was guarded when asked whether Pakistan’s suggestions will be to take forward the reconciliation process inside Afghanistan.
“Our role is to facilitate and we will certainly give importance to what is asked of us, but remember as Mr. Sartaj Aziz said, we do not control the Taliban“.
The government feels strongly that progress on trade, investment and energy cooperation will exhibit the strength of bilateral ties which for the last decade have been more Afghanistan and hence security related.
On Thursday, Mr. Kerry will meet General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani for the last time as the army chief, as Mr. Kayani is expected to step down in September with no indications that he would enjoy another term in office.