Sharif keen to meet Trump, may visit US next month
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is keen to meet Donald Trump, may visit Washington next month for the oath taking ceremony of the US President- elect, media reports said on Sunday.
Speculation about the visit comes after telephonic conversation between Sharif and Trump last week.
Sources here said Special Assistant to Sharif on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi was leaving for the US on Sunday to finalise the schedule of the visit. Fatemi would stay in Washington for 10 days and would meet the Trump team as well and discuss the ways to strengthen the bilateral ties between Pakistan and US. He would brief the team about the role Pakistan played in the war on terror and Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan and India. According to media reports, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) has been trying to arrange a possible visit of Sharif to Washington where Trump will assume charge of the Office of the President of the United States on January 20. Sources say that Sharif has expressed his desire to attend Trump s oath taking ceremony.
The Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC has also started making requisite efforts to make this happen. It was reported that the Sharif may leave for the US on the January 18th or 19th. The decision of Sharif s US visit hinges on the possibility of a meeting with Donald Trump. Analysts say that it will be a major breakthrough if a meeting is actually realised, the reports said.
Trump has already set up a provisional team, encouraging foreign leaders and officials to visit his headquarters in New York for familiarisation meetings. Sharif is said to have given him given special instructions to Fatemi who would meet the US Congress members and Senate and seek their support and cooperation for better ties with the new US administration. The adviser would also meet the US think tank members and would brief them on Pakistan s efforts for peace in the region.
Fatemi would also highlight the “Indian atrocities” in Kashmir and “ceasefire violations” by Indian security forces on Line of Control and Working Boundary, sources said. Sharif had called Trump last week. During their conversation, the President-elect lavished praise on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and offered to play “any role” in helping Pakistan address its problems.