Pakistan hopes to ‘refresh’ US ties with PM Khan’s visit
Pakistan expressed hopes yesterday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden trip to the White House later this month would help repair its acrimonious relationship with Washington as the US seeks its help in ending the war in Afghanistan. Observers believe that the nearly 18-year conflict will be the major focus of talks between Khan and President Donald Trump when they meet on July 22, as Washington presses for Pakistani assistance in securing a peace deal.
“Pakistan has been facilitating the US-Taliban talks in good faith, underscoring that it remains a shared responsibility,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said during a seminar in Islamabad. “It will therefore be appropriate to work for broader engagement from Afghanistan to bilateral issues, economic and trade cooperation, to peace and stability in South Asia,” he added.
On Tuesday, Qureshi said that Trump’s invitation to Khan reflected the “importance of the relationship for both sides”. Last year, Trump suspended $300 million in military aid to Islamabad, saying Pakistan has given Washington “nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools”.