Deputy Secretary of state to arrive in 2 weeks of Modi's US visit

modi, pakistan, October, Wendy Sherman, Ananta Aspen Centre

US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman will visit India next week with Afghanistan topping her agenda among other issues less than two weeks after PM Narendra Modi‘s US visit

Her visit will also help in following up on Modi’s visit to Washington for bilateral as well as Quad summits, ET has learnt. The role of Pakistan in sponsoring cross-border terror including through Afghanistan figured prominently when Modi had met the US president on September 24.

Sherman will be here 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 engagements with business and civil society, according to a state department readout. In Mumbai, she will also speak at a session organised by the Ananta Aspen Centre, one of the leading public policy bodies of India.

India and the US are scheduled to hold their first 2+2 summit under the Biden administration this November.

Sherman is on a visit to the region, which will also take her to Uzbekistan and Pakistan besides Switzerland, where she will meet top Russian officials. Her visit to Pakistan, following her India visit, will be closely followed here. This will be Sherman’s maiden visit to India in her current capacity.

Secretary of state Antony Blinken told Congressmen that the US would need to re-assess its relationship with Pakistan. Blinken recently met his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss Afghanistan engagement and facilitate the departure of those who wanted to leave Afghanistan, the state department said. Earlier this month, CIA head William Burns had also visited Islamabad after New Delhi. Biden has however not yet spoken with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan since he was elected as the US president.

Modi touched upon the pernicious role played by Pakistan in Afghanistan during bilateral talks with Biden at the White House last Friday. Modi’s arguments on cross-border terror also found resonance with Biden, ET had reported, and was reflected in a joint statement following the meeting.

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