US Secretary of State Pompeo reaches in Pakistan, likely to meet PM
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached in Pakistan for one-day visit.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached Islamabad with delegation on Wednesday. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford also accompanied him.
He is likely to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan. It is the first official visit of any senior US official after Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf formed the government in Islamabad.
Later, delegation level talks will be held at the Foreign Office. Pompeo will call on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Both dignitaries will discuss bilateral cooperation and peace in Afghanistan. After meeting Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pak-US delegation level talks will be held at Foreign Office.
The US officials are expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan after the delegation level talks. Pompeo will leave for New Delhi the same day.
– 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 Defense 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.