All eyes on Imran Khan-Trump meet

All eyes on Imran Khan-Trump meet

Agency News

Washington, Jul 22 : Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to meet US President Donald Trump alongside Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday, in which Afghanistan and counter-terrorism efforts, as well as US economic aid, are expected to be on the agenda.

The Khan-Trump meeting would focus on bolstering the linkages between the two countries in a range of areas. Speaking at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) and Army spokesperson, confirmed that Gen Bajwa would accompany PM Imran during the meeting with Trump at the White House. Maj Gen Ghafoor told the media that the Army Chief would also visit the Pentagon to have interaction with US military leadership, according to Radio Pakistan.

Earlier, upon his arrival in Washington for the first-ever, three-day visit to the US, Khan was not accorded due welcome. Reports came that not a single US official came to receive the Pakistan premier at the airport.

However, when the premier reached the Embassy Residence, he was given a warm welcome, with the Pakistani community and fans playing the dhol. Khan will be staying in Pakistan House. Khan is set to participate in the Pakistan Business Summit, where he would be giving an address as well.

Earlier in the day, the White House had said the premier's visit would focus on strengthening the cooperation between the two countries to bring peace, stability, and economic prosperity to a region that has seen far too much conflict.

The two leaders would discuss several issues during their meeting, including "counterterrorism, defence, energy, and trade, with the goal of creating the conditions for a peaceful South Asia and an enduring partnership between our two countries". Trump had been critical of Pakistan in terms of the counter-terrorism efforts, in addition to saying that the $33 billion in aid spent by US administration over the last 15 years provided the US was nothing in return.

Following these remarks, Trump suspended aid to Pakistan.  Amid mounting pressure from terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force, Pakistani authorities opened an investigation in to alleged financing of terrorism groups, and arrested Hafeez Saaed, leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group on July 17.

Trump also expressed satisfaction over Saeed's arrest. "After a ten year search, the so-called “mastermind” of the Mumbai Terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan. Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!", Trump said in a tweet. With Pakistan's economy suffering, Imran Khan is expected to ask for US economic aid in exchange for help on Afghanistan. (UNI)