US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Islamabad

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Islamabad

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford on Wednesday reached Islamabad to discuss the bilateral matters with the Pakistani leadership.

Mike Pompeo will meet Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and is also expected to call on Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa during his brief stay in the capital.

It is to be mention here that this is the first high-level visit from Washington since the new government assumed office.

Earlier, while talking to the media from his airplane en route to Islamabad, Pompeo said he hopes to reset the relations between the two countries.

Pompeo also indicated that the Trump administration could release aid to Pakistan that was halted earlier this year.

Stating that the rationale for Pakistan not getting the money is very clear, he said, “It’s that we haven’t seen the progress that we need to see from them.”

Further, Pompeo stressed on Pakistan’s assistance and help to resolve issues related to stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistanis have “important interests, security interests in Afghanistan to make sure they get the issues at their border right, and we need their help”, Pompeo said.

He was also hopeful that his trip could convince the new government in Pakistan to provide the assistance for reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The arrival of Pompeo and Dunford is uniquely timed, especially in light of the unbelievably cold US-Pakistan relations, and the Trump administration’s on-and-off calls to “do more” and “no more”.

While the bilateral linkages have historically had their ups and downs, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Pakistani minister of foreign affairs, commented that Islamabad hopes to take forward the two-way ties in light of the mutual respect.

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