PM Imran Khan and President Donald Trump meeting on cards?
Both sides are discussing a proposal about arranging the maiden meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump, officials said on Thursday, hours after Trump said he was looking forward to meeting the Pakistani leadership.
The proposal for a Imran-Trump meeting is being discussed between the two sides but the final decision hinges on the “positive outcome” of the ongoing efforts to strike a peace deal in Afghanistan, a senior official said on the condition of anonymity. Imran is likely to travel to the US if “all goes well”, the official added.
Trump himself dropped a hint of the possible meeting with the Pakistani prime minister on Wednesday when he told a cabinet meeting that “I look forward to meeting the folks from the new leadership in Pakistan [and] we will be doing that in not-too-distant future”.
When asked to comment on the Trump’s statement and whether there was any chance of the meeting between the two leaders, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Pakistan looked forward to “positive engagement” with the US at the leadership level. “President Trump’s remarks are indeed a departure from his tweet of 1 January 2018,” Faisal told a weekly news briefing.
The positive vibes coming from the White House are attributed to the recent push for seeking a peace deal in Afghanistan. Pakistan recently brokered direct talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US in United Arab Emirates.
The next round is expected in Saudi Arabia, which suggests a positive movement of the talks. “If the process moves forward in positive direction, certainly there is a possibility of engagement between Pakistan and the US at the highest level,” another official said.