Pompeo, PM Imran Khan discuss peace in Afghanistan, bilateral ties
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Khan said that his government’s agenda was focussed on human development and poverty alleviation for which peace and stability in the region was a prerequisite.
He underscored his commitment to peace with all neighbours.
Prime Minister Khan added that Pakistan looked forward to strengthening its relationship with the US based on trust and respect. He shared Pakistan’s perspective on the situation in the region and reiterated its desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Secretary Pompeo congratulated the prime minister on forming the government. He appreciated the prime minister’s agenda of socioeconomic development. Secretary Pompeo conveyed the desire of the US administration to work with Pakistan to achieve the common objectives of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
Earlier in the afternoon, Pompeo met Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had a detailed discussion on issues of bilateral importance as well as the situation in Afghanistan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa were also present.
– US wants strong relation with Pakistan –
Talking to journalists prior to leaving for Pakistan in Washington, he expressed hope for improvement in bilateral ties during the term of new government in Pakistan.
Mike Pompeo said the United States wants Pakistan to help it for mediation in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan and the United States will have to make joint efforts to deal with common challenges.
The US Secretary of State, who arrives in Islamabad on Wednesday, will be accompanied by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.
The American delegation will hold talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his team. The US officials are also scheduled to hold meetings with senior political and military leadership on bilateral relations and regional security.
Earlier, the US had cancelled $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.
The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he said Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”
The Trump administration says Islamabad is granting safe haven to insurgents who are waging a 17-year-old war in neighbouring Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan denies. But US officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behaviour.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorise $300 million in CSF funds through this summer – if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents. Mattis chose not to, a US official told Reuters.
“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said.