US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls on PM Imran Khan

September 6, 2018

ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM office.

The US Secretary of state who is on one day official visit to Pakistan held a meeting with the prime minister to discuss matters pertaining to Pakistan-US relations and security situation of the region.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others are also present in the meeting. Pompeo also felicitated PM Imran Khan on assuming office and his party’s thumping victory in general elections.

Pompeo will then travel to India where he will be joined by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to meet with their Indian counterparts on a range of key defense and trade issues.

According to American media, Pompeo’s visit is aimed at rapprochement with Pakistan and to restore the once close ties enjoyed by Islamabad and Washington. Pompeo will also request Pakistan to back US-led move to restart the peace process in war-torn Afghanistan.

The visit comes a few days after the Pentagon canceled aid to Pakistan over record on militants. The US military said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”

But US officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behavior.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorize $300 million in CSF funds through this summer – if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents. Mattis chose not to, a US official said.

“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said. NNI