Imran in US to lukewarm welcome

Imran in US to lukewarm welcome


The Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan’s maiden US trip for a face-to-face talks with the President, Donald Trump,  started on a bad note. It seems the Trump administration doesn’t care about his maiden visit.

Reports have now emerged pointing that not a single US official came to receive the Pakistan Prime Minister at the airport. Mr. Khan, who had boarded a commercial flight instead of a private jet to cut down expenses, was instead received by his Foreign Minister, Mr.  Fawad Qureshi, at the Dulles International Airport.

In a video shared by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  showed the Prime Minister de-boarding the commercial flight and later being received by Mr. Qureshi and Pakistan ambassador to the US, Mr.  Asad M Khan. The Pakistan Embassy in the US, however, claimed that the PM was received by Senior Officials of the US State Department.

Mr. Khan arrived in Washington for his three-day visit to meet Mr. Trump and is accompanied by Pakistan's Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, director-general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Mr. Faiz Hameed, and advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood.

Meanwhile, ten members of the US Congress have written to Mr. Trump urging him to raise the issue of 'human rights abuses in Sindh Province' with Mr. Imran Khan. Similarly, Baloch Republican Party and World Baloch Organization have announced a joint campaign to highlight enforced disappearances and human rights abuses in Pakistan during Mr. Khan's visit.

Mobile billboards on enforced disappearances and human rights violations in Balochistan were seen in Washington DC today. To cut down on the expenses the PM will be staying at the official residence of the Pakistani Ambassador, Mr. Asad Majeed Khan.

Before this, Mr. Nawaz Sharif was the last Pakistani prime minister to visit the US on an official trip in October 2015. During his stay Imran will also meet IMF acting chief, David Lipton, the World Bank President, David Malpass, and the Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo will call on him on Tuesday.

Hours before Mr. Khan’s arrival, Pakistan hired the services of lobbying firm Holland & Knight which will be led by former Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds will lead a team comprising other former members of Congress, former senior Administration officials, Capitol Hill veterans and other professional experts to lobby in the US on behalf of the Pakistani government.