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Pakistan Imran Khan meets Trump to talk economy, terror, Afghanistan

President Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Imran Khan, communicate to the media within the Oval Workplace on the White Home on July 22, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Photos

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-day go to to the U.S. just isn’t possible going to do a lot for his nation’s struggling economic system, a political analyst stated Tuesday.

Structural issues have hamstrung development, and Pakistan is awash in exterior debt, having taken on billions of {dollars} in loans from nations akin to China and Saudi Arabia to ease pressures on its present account.

The Worldwide Financial Fund just lately accepted a $6 billion mortgage bundle to shore up Pakistan’s economic system. However development is ready to gradual to 2.4% within the present fiscal 12 months — from 5.5% within the 12 months that ended June 2018, IMF predicted.

“I imagine that one of the requests that Imran Khan and other senior officials traveling with them in Washington have asked for is some type of stepped-up U.S. support for Pakistan’s economy,” Michael Kugelman, deputy director and senior affiliate for South Asia on the U.S.-based Wilson Middle, advised CNBC’s “Street Signs. “

He stated it is unlikely that Washington will lengthen financial assist to Pakistan but, as there are different points that take priority of their bilateral dialogue — specifically, Afghanistan and counter-terrorism. As an alternative, the U.S. is dangling the potential for stronger commerce and financial cooperation with Pakistan, if the latter had been to assist with the peace talks in Afghanistan and do extra to crack down on terrorism inside its borders, Kugelman stated.

“If you look at the statement that the White House released soon before Prime Minister Khan had his meeting with Trump, there was a series of lines in the statement about how U.S. and Pakistan trade cooperation has increased in recent years, sort of like highlighting the fact that you do have this cooperation,” he stated.

Kugelman added that Khan might doubtlessly additionally look to the U.S. personal sector to try to usher in some help to the Pakistani economic system by new investments.


The connection between the U.S. and Pakistan has been strained.

Khan met with President Donald Trump on Monday in a push to fix ties between Islamabad and Washington over the protracted battle in Afghanistan.

Final 12 months, Trump accused Pakistan of offering “safe haven to terrorists” and complained on Twitter that the nation gave the U.S. “nothing but lies & deceit” regardless of receiving billions of {dollars} in assist for greater than a decade. He then suspended assist to the nation. Pakistan denied these expenses.

On Monday, the 2 leaders met on the White Home the place Trump sounded optimistic that Khan might assist the U.S. dealer a settlement to finish the battle in Afghanistan.

“I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves. We’re like policemen. We’re not fighting the war,” he advised reporters, earlier than including that if he needed to, he might win that battle in every week. He didn’t elaborate. “I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” he added.

Washington needs extra cooperation from Pakistan within the Afghanistan peace course of. In keeping with Reuters, that features a sustained crackdown on militants and terrorists inside its borders, in addition to assist to “pressure the Taliban into a permanent ceasefire and participation in inter-Afghan negotiations that would include the Afghan government.”

Trump on Monday additionally hinted at the potential for restoring about $1.three billion in assist to Pakistan that was suspended final 12 months.

At a media briefing within the Oval Workplace earlier than their assembly, Khan stated Pakistan wants peace and stability.

“We have had 15 years of fighting this war on terror. Over 70,000 Pakistani casualties. Over $150 billion lost to the economy. So, we desperately want peace,” he stated.


The U.S. president additionally weighed in on Kashmir — a delicate subject for each Pakistan and its neighboring rival, India. The disputed territory has been on the middle of a long time of battle and a number of wars.

Earlier this 12 months, Islamabad and New Delhi performed retaliatory air strikes on one another following a terror assault in India-controlled Kashmir. That episode fueled considerations about stability within the area at the moment.

Khan stated that Islamabad had tried its finest to resolve the dispute with New Delhi.

“We’ve made all overtures to India to start dialogue, resolve our differences through dialogue. But, unfortunately, we haven’t made headways as yet. But I’m hoping that President Trump would push this process,” Khan stated.

Trump claimed throughout Monday’s media briefing that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested him if he can be prepared to mediate within the Kashmir dispute between the 2 nuclear rivals “because this has been going on for many, many years.”

India promptly denied Trump’s declare. A spokesperson for India’s exterior affairs ministry, Raveesh Kumar, stated on Twitter that Modi had made “no such request” to Trump.

“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally,” Kumar stated, including, “Any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross border terrorism.”

Reuters contributed to this report.