19 January 2021
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United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to visit Pakistan early next month to meet with the newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan, citing international media outlets.
Pompeo, an official of the US President Donald Trump’s administration, will reportedly arrive in Islamabad on September 5 for a brief stay while en route to India.
Pompeo and PM Khan are likely to discuss bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest during their meeting before the former leaves for New Delhi on September 6.
It is also expected that Pompeo, who would become the first foreign diplomat to meet Pakistan’s new PM, may talk the Afghan peace process as well.
According to an international publication, “the Pompeo mission will also help Washington and New Delhi coordinate their objectives and mission in Afghanistan”.
Earlier on Sunday, Khan had addressed the nation in his first-ever televised speech as the premier and emphasised austerity and the need to tackle corruption.
“There is a need for peace and without it, we cannot improve the country’s situation,” he had stated during the broadcasted speech.
Further, back on August 14, Pompeo, in his message to the Pakistani people on the country’s Independence Day, had said he hoped to further strengthen ties between the two nations.
‘Close ties between our two peoples’
He had said: “The US hopes to further strengthen ties with Pakistan in the years ahead and work with its people and government to advance shared goals of security, stability and prosperity in South Asia.”
For more than seven decades, the relationship between the US and Pakistan has “rested on the strong foundation of close ties between our two peoples”, Pompeo had added.
On August 15, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Alice Wells, a senior bureau official for State Department’s South and Central Asian Affairs, had said the US was eager to work with Pakistan for peace and stability in the South Asian region.
Coupled with the US State Secretary’s comments last week, the discussion between Khan and Pompeo on the two-way US-Pakistan relations may commence on a favourable note.
Then, on Saturday, the Department of State had said it “recognize(s) and welcome(s) the newly elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on taking the oath of office.
“For over 70 years, the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has been a vital one. The United States looks forward to working with Pakistan’s new civilian government to promote peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region.”

Abdul Gh Lone