WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Imran Khan will likely be accompanied by Pakistan's top military brass during his official visit to the United States, official sources told The News.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to be here on a three-day visit starting from July 21, and meet President Donald Trump on the 22nd at the White House. The prime minister is also supposed to address the Pakistani diaspora and business community.
The Pakistani Embassy has not yet released any details of the official schedule, and remains tight-lipped about the PM’s entourage. It is however believed that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser Finance, Adviser Trade and Investment and other cabinet members would be part of the delegation.
Besides an expected one on one meeting with President Donald Trump, the two sides would hold a delegation level interaction to discuss bilateral and regional concerns. Official sources added that since the Trump administration is desperate to sort out issues related to US withdrawal from Afghanistan and seek Pakistan's help in this regard, the military brass is also likely to be in town around the same time. The embassy has, so far, avoided confirming this.
Pakistan recently hosted the first Afghan Peace Conference where representatives of key Afghan political parties participated. The conference was followed by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's key visit to Islamabad.
Ghani met Prime Minister Imran Khan and government officials from both sides held high level talks. Efforts to arrange the Khan-Trump meeting have been underway since President Trump announced in March that he was looking forward to meeting "the new leadership in Pakistan."
The Trump-Imran meeting as well as delegation level discussions are expected to improve ties between the two countries. In the past, the Trump administration had taken hard line on Pakistan, but quite recently has been taking steps to help resolve mutual concerns.