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July 12, 2019

PM’s visit to bolster Pak-US ties: FO

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July 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: After Pakistan officially confirmed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington on the invitation of President Donald Trump, it says that further details are being worked out. As yet the composition of the prime minister’s entourage has also not been finalised as different cabinet members and advisers jostle to be included in the US visit.

It will be a for three-day visit which includes meeting President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss bilateral and regional matters. “The visit will have positive impact on Pak-US bilateral relations as well as regional peace, stability and prosperity. It will also help “renew and reinvigorate” long-standing ties between the two countries and that both states will benefit on the basis of mutual interest,” Dr Muhammad Faisal told the weekly media briefing at the Foreign Office.

Meanwhile, relentless and continued efforts by Pakistan to help with the continuation of the Afghan peace process, which includes efforts to facilitate the concerned groups to continue negotiations, are earning Islamabad goodwill and recognition.

“Our efforts to facilitate the concerned groups, to continue negotiations for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution to the conflict, are getting recognition. There is wide acknowledgement and appreciation' from the stakeholders for its facilitatory role to help continue the peace process,” Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said at a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

The FO spokesman, however, clarified that Pakistan's role was purely meant to facilitate the process. “We repeat, we are playing a facilitatory role and would continue to do that. Our position is nothing more than a politically negotiated intra-Afghan solution to the conflict,” he said.

He said Pakistan would continue its policy to support international efforts meant for a durable and sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s optimism comes as Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States peace envoy to Afghanistan, headed for Beijing where for the first time ‘substantive’ progress on all four issues key to a peace agreement are being reported.

In the wake of the Imran Khan-Trump meeting, Pakistan made it clear that it was fully implementing the United Nations Security Council sanctions related to North Korea. The spokesman clarified that press briefing said that no work visa has been issued to North Koreans to work in Pakistan.

The United States had earlier expressed concern over the possible employment of North Korean nationals in the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Pakistan. UNSC Resolution 2375 bars member countries from hiring North Korean nationals.

As an Indian agrees to travel to Wagah to further operationalise the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on July 14, the spokesman said that the Prime Minister is committed to operationalising the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor in time for the 550th celebrations in November this year.

“Work proceeds expeditiously on the Pakistan side with more than 70 percent of the Gurdwara complex, border terminal and the road being completed. Regarding the question on completion of work on Indian side, there are reports that work is ongoing,” responded the spokesman to a query.

However, at this stage both India and Pakistan are reluctant to share the details of the draft agreement as “Pakistan will uphold the sanctity of this practice. As and when the agreement concludes, we will share the details with you accordingly,” he added.

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