PM Khan meets US businessmen, COAS to visit Pentagon

Web Desk – (Syed Ahad Hussain) WASHINGTON: In a meeting at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited businessmen and investors to benefit from economic and business opportunities in Pakistan.

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The premier is on a three-day ‘official working visit’ to the US.

The premier, who commenced his official engagements soon after his arrival in the US capital on Saturday, will go to the White House on July 22 for an extensive three-hour visit, which includes a one-on-one meeting with President Donald Trump, and two meetings and a working lunch with the president’s team.

PM Khan met with Tahir Javed, a Texas-based Pakistani businessman and a member of the Democratic Party, Javaid Anwar, a Pakistani American businessman, as well as a group of potential investors.

According to an official tweet by the government, the premier invited the businessmen to “benefit from the economic and business opportunities afforded by Pakistan’s strategic location and the connectivity to the broader region”.

Furthermore, the investors praised the improved security situation in Pakistan and identified areas of interest for investment in key sectors such as energy and tourism sectors.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while discussing the prime minister’s schedule, said the PM on Sunday will meet IMF chief David Lipton and his delegation and will later have a similar meeting with the World Bank president. Later in the evening, he will attend a community event at Washington’s Capital One Arena.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa is scheduled to interact with top US military leadership at the Pentagon during a three-day official working visit to Washington, according to Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor, Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday.

The DG ISPR, while speaking to the media at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, said that the COAS would also accompany Prime Minister Imran Khan during his meeting with US President Donald Trump on Monday.

Prime Minister Imran, accompanied by COAS Gen Bajwa and Maj Gen Ghafoor, arrived in Washington on Saturday for an official working visit.

Apparently, this is the first time that the country’s top generals will be accompanying the premier to a White House meeting with the US president.

Gen Bajwa is expected to meet former acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Mark Milley and other senior officials during his visit to Pentagon, according to diplomatic sources.

This will be Gen Milley’s first meeting with a foreign military leader since his confirmation on Thursday by the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee.

The DG ISPR told the media that the security situation in Pakistan is “far better now”, and added that the “sacrifices of [the] Pakistani nation and security forces have started yielding results”.

With the erection of a fence along the Pak-Afghan border, border control was much better, and that the fence would help reduce terrorism-related incidents, he said.

The main focus of security forces was the development of Balochistan and the restructuring of areas affected by terrorism in coordination with the civil administration, said DG ISPR.

Gen Ghafoor also briefed the media on the intensification of tensions with India earlier this year as well as the overall security situation of Pakistan.

The DG ISPR “lauded the role of media in highlighting [a] positive image of the country abroad,” the report added.

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