Pakistan’s concerns to center during Pompeo’s visit: Qureshi
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said they would raise their concerns and issues before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is scheduled to land in Islamabad on September 5.
Replying to a query by a number of media persons here regarding cancellation of $300 million in Coalition Support Funds, the minister clarified that it was not an aid but in reality, the amount was spent by Pakistan and the United States had to reimburse it.
On Saturday, the Pentagon had announced to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan. The US military announced on September 1 that it planned to suspend US$300 million in aid to Islamabad for its perceived failure to take decisive action against militants that target US forces stationed in neighboring Afghanistan, news agencies reported.
Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said the suspended US$300 million would be “reprogammed” and spent instead on other “urgent priorities” due to a perceived lack of “decisive” Pakistan government action, news reports said.
Qureshi said Pakistan and the US had the shared objectives of ensuring peace in the region and beyond. During meeting with the US secretary, they would raise their concerns and discuss the shared objectives and would like to move forward, he added. He said Pakistan had rendered immense sacrifices and made contributions in the war on terror. Pakistan Army, law enforcement agencies and civilians had given huge sacrifices. The positive thinking would be the continuity of efforts to achieve the shared objectives between the two countries, he added.
Qureshi also admitted that during the tenure of previous government, there was disruption in the Pak-US contacts. About the issue of closure of Pak consulate in Jalalabad, the minister said it was decided after certain security concerns of the staff deputed there and due to undue interference by the Afghan authorities.
However, he added that they were assured by the Afghan authorities that corrective measures were in place to address Pak consulate staff’s concerns.
He said his Afghan counterpart would also be contacting him on Monday morning.
About Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to General Headquarters, Qureshi said they were given a detailed briefing about security concerns, internal and external challenges and the measures for securing the country’s interests.