WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump has a very constructive round of talks here at the White House Monday. PM Khan was welcomed by US President Donald Trump, as he reached the White House. The premier was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
During the meeting, President Donald Trump said that Pakistan was helping the US advance the Afghanistan peace process. “I don’t think Pakistan respected the United States” in the past, Trump said, but “they are helping us a lot now,” he added.
Donald Trump on Monday also offered to mediate on the decades-long Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, a move that would signal a shift in long-standing US policy that the issue must be solved bilaterally.
“If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Trump said at the White House, where he was hosting Prime Minister Imran Khan. “If I can do anything to help, let me know.”
President Trump said the US is willing to invest in Pakistan and sees great trade relationship between the two countries. He also said that Washington is working with Islamabad to find a way out of the war in Afghanistan.
Trump held out the possibility of restoring US aid to Pakistan, depending upon what is worked out, and offered assistance to Islamabad in trying to ease strained ties with India.
“We have great potential for relations with Pakistan, I honestly think ties between our two countries have never been better,” he said. “I have lots of Pakistani friends… they’re really tough and smart people,” he added.
Prime Minister Imran told President Trump there was only one solution for Afghanistan and that a peace deal with the Taliban was closer than it had ever been. He said he hoped in the coming days to be able to urge the Taliban to continue the talks.
Earlier, the prime minister was received by the US president on arriving at the White House on his maiden visit to the United States. PM Imran, who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, waved at those who came to welcome him outside the Executive Mansion.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant on Overseas Zulfikar Bukhari and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, are accompanying the Prime Minister.
“The purpose of the visit is to press for concrete cooperation from Pakistan to advance the Afghanistan peace process and to encourage Pakistan to deepen and sustain its recent effort to crackdown on militants and terrorists within its territory,” a senior US administration official said.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States wants to make clear to Pakistan that it is open to repairing relations if Pakistan changes how it handles “terrorists and militants.”
In Afghanistan, the official said, the peace process is at a critical point and Washington wants Pakistan “to pressure the Taliban into a permanent ceasefire and participation in inter-Afghan negotiations that would include the Afghan government.”
Trump wants to end US military involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s cooperation will be essential to any deal to end the war and ensure the country does not become a base for militant groups like Islamic State.
Earlier, addressing gathering of Pakistani community at Capital One Arena in
Washington DC Monday Prime Minster Imran Khan says Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s vision is to turn the country into a welfare state on the pattern of Riyasat-i-Madina. He said principles of state of Madina were compassion, justice, rule of law, and looking after the women, children and elderly.
Imran Khan said in Naya Pakistan everyone is accountable and there could not be two separate laws for rich and poor. He said merit and equality for all is our vision of Naya Pakistan where level playing field will be provided to every citizen. He said democracy has flourished because of meritocracy and accountability.
Talking about the debt of the country, he said Pakistan was looted by previous governments and its debt raised from six thousand billion to thirty thousand billion rupees in just last ten years. He said PTI government inherited huge debt and the national institutions were
sinking in loss.
He said in Naya Pakistan public office holders are being held accountable. This is the real change and our country will become a welfare state.
The Prime Minister reiterated that he would not give NRO to plunderers and showed firm resolve to carry forward the process of accountability without being subdued to any pressure or blackmailing.
Earlier, National anthems of United States of America and Pakistan were also played.
Addressing gathering of Pakistani community Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan desires peace and stability in the region.
He said Pakistan has successfully curbed the menace of terrorism and peaceful elections in erstwhile FATA, terrorism affected area, are the beginning of development and prosperity.
Meanwhile, a delegation of businessmen and investors held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at Pakistan Embassy in Washington on Monday.
The delegation which included Zia Chishti, Muhammad Khaishgi and Hasnain Aslam expressed keen interest in investment in the IT and Technology sectors.
Businessmen Nasir Javed, Ashraf Qazi and Shoukat Dhanai also called on the Prime Minister.
Talking to the businessmen, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted investment-friendly environment in Pakistan as a result of steps being taken by the government for ease of doing business. He also informed the delegation about promotion of industrial sector and socio-economic development.
The delegation appreciated the vision of the Prime Minister in connection with socio-economic development in Pakistan and expressed their interest to invest in education, manufacturing and steel sectors.
A group of investors of health and food sectors also called on the Prime Minister. The delegation included Aslam Khan, Mubashir Chaudhary, Dr Javed and Dr Abid Shiekh.
Meanwhile, Senator Lindsay Graham, Senator from the Republican Party and Head of Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at Pakistan House in Washington DC Monday.
Senator Graham has been the most vocal and active supporter of refreshing US-Pakistan bilateral ties in the interest of regional peace and security.
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood and Ambassador of Pakistan to USA Dr. Asad Majeed Khan were present during the meeting.
Earlier on Sunday, a delegation of Businessmen and Investors also held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan at Pakistan Embassy in Washington.
The delegation included Raza Chishti, Muhammad Khaishgi and Hasnain Aslam expressed keen interest in investment in the IT and Technology sectors.
Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged that all possible support for development of a robust IT sector.
The group included Imran ul Haq Khan, Hashmat Malik, Hassan Ahmad, Dilawar Syed, Rehan Jalil, Salman Akhter and Mansoor Khan.
Talking to “All Star Group” comprising leading IT professionals in Washington DC, he said development of IT is amongst highest priorities of the government as this sector entails huge job opportunities for the youth.
The group exchanged views on strengthening academic institutions, research and development, development of standards institutions including technology field, training for IT Technicians and Engineers and Vocational training.