Washington, July 21: Hoping to "reset" tense bilateral relations, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday embarked on a three-day visit to the US where he is set to meet President Donald Trump on July 22. Ahead of Imran Khan's meeting with Donald Trump, a senior US official said the President wants Pakistan to take "irreversible" action against terror group operating on its soil.
The US official emphasised that the Trump administration was "clear-eyed" and "under no illusion" about the actions taken so far by Pakistani authorities (including the recent arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed). Hafiz Saeed was arrested on July 17. The official said the US wants Pakistan to take "irreversible and verifiable steps" against terror groups, including those operating against India. Imran Khan in USA: Pakistan PM Along With Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, ISI DG Faiz Hameed Reaches US.
"We want to send a message that the door is open if Pakistan changes its policy (with regard to terror groups)," the official was quoted by Times of India as saying. He added that the US won't allow security assistance to Pakistan until the Trump administration was convinced about Pakistan's action against terror outfits. US Casts Doubts Over Pakistan's Intentions in Arresting Hafiz Saeed, Says 'Previous Arrests Made No Difference'.
The official also said Khan's meeting with Trump is meant to "incentivise" Pakistan to use its "full leverage" with the Taliban to further the peace process in Afghanistan. According to the White House, Khan's visit will focus on strengthening cooperation between Washington and Islamabad to bring peace, stability and economic prosperity to a region that has seen far too much conflict.
Khan's visit comes at a time when Pakistan finds itself in a difficult economic situation due to a trade deficit, lack of foreign exchange and a need for foreign investment.