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Imran to meet Trump on 22nd: FO

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July 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet US President Donald Trump on July 22 with an agenda of "refreshing bilateral relations", the Foreign Office confirmed on Thursday.

The prime minister is undertaking the visit to Washington, DC, on the invitation of the US President, Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Faisal said at a weekly press briefing. The spokesman said the agenda of the meeting was being developed through diplomatic channels.

"The focus will be on refreshing the bilateral relationship," he said when asked about Pakistan's expectations from the maiden official visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US since he assumed the government in last August.

Asked if the designation of Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US administration was a goodwill gesture ahead of PM Khan's visit to Washington, the spokesman said, "It was an acknowledgment of Pakistan's stance".

"The US has realised and acknowledged the point raised by us [against BLA], and we will continue our efforts in this direction," he said. On Kartarpur Corridor, the spokesman said Pakistan was moving ahead with "a very positive spirit" and had confirmed July 14 for a meeting with India to finalise modalities and operationalisation.

He said construction work continued on Pakistan's side for completion of the Corridor before the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in November. Asked if Pakistan would invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion, he said no such decision had been taken so far.

On reports of Taliban leaders soon visiting Pakistan to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Spokesman said, "I cannot comment on the visit, but can say that Pakistan has played a pivotal role in facilitating and taking forward the peace process. We are doing this in good faith and shared responsibility.

The ultimate decision regarding political settlement is in the hands of Afghans," he said.About the upcoming meeting of Taliban and Afghans in Qatar on Sunday, the spokesman said Pakistan continued pressing the need for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and hoped that the talks would ultimately "lead to result-oriented intra-Afghan dialogue".

He recalled that during the recent visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to a forward-looking approach and to strengthen ties on areas of mutual interest including trade, economy, culture and education.

He said effective utilisation of the existing economic mechanism including regular meetings of the Pak-Afghan Joint Economic Council and opening of Torkham border for 24 hours, was discussed in particular.

On Indian Parliament approving six-month extension of presidential rule in Jammu and Kashmir from July 3, the spokesman said any solution to J&K should be in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiris.

"India is shirking and failing at the same time. We urge India to implement the resolutions of United Nations Security Council rather than diverting the world's attention from a core issue," he said.

The spokesman condemned the continuing incidents of human rights violations in Pulwama, Shopian, Bandipur and Srinagar areas of the held valley that made life miserable for the residents in shape of killings, abuses, disappearances, violence and rapes.

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