In quick succession Prime Minister Imran Khan has held meetings in Davos with US President Donald Trump and other dignitaries. According to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the meetings have...
In quick succession Prime Minister Imran Khan has held meetings in Davos with US President Donald Trump and other dignitaries. According to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the meetings have been successful and will pay dividends to Pakistan in the near future. The meeting between President Trump and the PM is reported to have lasted for an hour in which ‘a full delegation from the US was present’, as Qureshi highlighted. One of the primary concerns for Pakistan was seeking US support at the Financial Action Task Force and easing of the travel advisory regarding Pakistan. Trade and industry also came under discussion between the two leaders, and both leaders are reported to have agreed that a trade delegation from the US would soon visit Pakistan.
In addition to these, the Kashmir issue was also discussed during the meeting. President Trump has once again showed his concern about Kashmir and offered to extend his help to solve the issue. According to reports, the two sides also talked about the increasing tension between the US and Iran and the impact they would have on the region. Afghanistan is also reported to have come under discussion. The reiteration of Trump’s offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir issue has been underscored by Qureshi. This seems to be a piece of good news as for as promises are concerned. Trump is planning to visit India in February, and he may decide to spend a few hours in Pakistan, as Clinton had done on his way back from New Delhi. More than the symbolic value of the visit, it is the content that matters more, and it would be better if the Foreign Office could do some groundwork for Trump’s visit apart from the photo ops.
The FATF meeting is already in progress in Beijing, and the role of the US will be evident if not here than in the Paris plenary next month. Pakistan has already submitted a 650-page report to the FATF and all of us are anxious to see the recommendations from Beijing that will feed into the Paris moot. As far as travel advisories are concerned, they are a routine matter and affect the number of travellers that visit a country. Some INGOs working in Pakistan have been complaining the visa processing from the Pakistan side has now become a Herculean task as many American citizens who have travelled to Pakistan many times earlier have been denied visas. This complaint needs to be taken seriously. A trade delegation’s visit to Pakistan is definitely very good news as it may facilitate some improved prospects for bilateral trade.