The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was on a three-day visit to the US, from July 20 to 22, 2019. The PM arrived in Washington in a Qatar Airways plane, travelling on a low budget, without much protocol. It is the first time that any PM of Pakistan has travelled on such low expenses and without much protocol.
PM arrived in Washington on July 20, 2019 and was received by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Acting Chief of Protocol of US Mary Kate Fisher, along with other Pakistani and US officials. No other senior US official was present to receive the PM. Later the US State Department said that PM was received by the Acting Chief of protocol, which was a standard protocol for a working trip to the US.
The PM met with several businesspersons and discussed the opportunities that Pakistan has to offer to investors. He said that the business community should avail the benefits being offered by Pakistan and reap the benefits of it’s pro-business policies and environment.
Following is the list of the key businesspersons that the PM met:
- Mr. Tahir Javed, who is a top Pakistani businessperson in the US and has close ties with the Democratic Party, met with the PM to discuss business opportunities in Pakistan.
- Mr. Javed Anwar met the PM, in a meeting in Pakistan embassy, along with other investors and the PM highlighted the strategic location of Pakistan and the opportunities it creates.
- Top businessperson Mr. Sohail Khan along with Ambassador Mr. Munir Akram, met the PM and discussed the business opportunities in Pakistan.
- CEO Affinity Zia Chishti, founding member and Chief Investment Officer of the Resource Group Hassan Alamgir, along with few others held a meeting with the PM in the Pakistan embassy and discussed investment opportunities in the IT sector and discussed the business policies of Pakistan.
The PM also addressed Pakistan Trade and Investment Summit and discussed opportunities for business and ease of doing business in Pakistan. The members showed interest in investing in many sectors of Pakistan’s economy including the IT sector, fields in Academia, manufacturing, steel industry, food sector and health sector.
Then the PM also addressed a gathering of the Pakistani Community in the Capital One Arena in Washington. Many people were present at the occasion. So far, no PM of Pakistan has had this much strength in numbers in any gathering of overseas Pakistanis in the US.
The PM also met with David Lipton, acting MD of IMF and President World Bank Mr. David Malpass, on separate occasions and discussed the financial situation of Pakistan and prospects of further investments in Pakistan.
Furthermore, the PM met with the Head of Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Lindsay Graham and discussed the US and Pakistan relations. According to the Senator, it was the first time in decades that Pakistan has the leadership that could develop strong ties with the US. The Senator is a strong supporter of refreshing the Pak-US relations and wants the countries to cooperate more.
The PM and Donald Trump met on July 22, in the White house. Trump received Imran khan himself and both discussed many key issues, including the Kashmir issue and war in Afghanistan.
Talking on Afghanistan, Khan said that, the war in Afghanistan directly affects peace in Pakistan. He highlighted the fact that Pakistan had lost almost 70,000 people in was against terror so far, with a further 130,000 being wounded. President Trump said that Pakistan has played a key role in US efforts in Afghanistan and there can be no peace in Afghanistan without the support of Pakistan. Trump commended Pakistan’s role in the peace talks with the Taliban and emphasized on joint efforts of the two countries to bring peace to the subcontinent and bring the war on terror to an end.
The PM added that Pakistan’s military leadership was also in the country to discuss the war on terror. The Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had visited Pentagon and met with Acting Secretary Defense Mr. Richard Spencer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Chief of Staff of US Army General Mark A Milley.
Khan also brought up the Kashmir issue and said that the USA, being the most powerful country, is the sole power that can arbitrate in the Kashmir issue. Khan said that the issue had been going on for almost 70 years with no result. Trump commenting on Kashmir said that Kashmir is a beautiful place, but there are bombs everywhere because of the long war going on there, he said that Indian PM Narendra Modi also brought up this issue and asked the US to arbitrate between Pakistan and India. He said that he would be more than happy if he could be of any service to end the conflict.
Trump says that he wants to increase trade with Pakistan. He added that the trade between Pakistan and the US should be a lot more than it is right now. He added that the US is the biggest market for Pakistan’s goods. Trade between the two countries in 2018 had been at a record high of $6.6 billion. He also said that the US can help Pakistan on easing the terms of IMF loans and will consider continuing the $1.3 billion aid package to Pakistan.
Trump commended Pakistan’s efforts on the war against terrorism and said that Pakistan’s security situation has improved a lot. He added that Pakistan and the US working together for peace in Afghanistan is the only permanent solution to the Afghan issue. He added that Pakistan has recently taken many steps to fight against organizations that were sponsoring terror from Pakistan and should continue to do more and comply with the FATF conditions.
He added that he would visit Pakistan whenever invited and would work for close ties with Pakistan.