US did not ask Pakistan to do more, says Foreign Minister after Pompeo visit

September 5, 2018

The US did not ask Pakistan to do more but conveyed their willingness to move forward, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday.

“We had meetings with the visiting US delegation in a pleasant environment,” Qureshi said on Wednesday. “Secretary Pompeo invited me to visit Washington.”

Qureshi said that he will visit Washington when he goes to New York to attend the next session of the United Nations.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford met Pakistan’s civil and military leaders, including Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Imran Khan said that he was hopeful about resetting relations with the US.

“I’m a born optimist. A sportsman always is an optimist. He steps on the field and he thinks he’s going to win,” Khan told reporters.

“We talked about their new government, the opportunity to reset the relationship between our two countries across a broad spectrum,” including business ties and ending the war in Afghanistan, Pompeo told reporters before leaving for India.

“And I’m hopeful that the foundation that we laid today will set the conditions for continued success as we start to move forward,” he added. “We made clear to them that – and they agreed – it’s time for us to begin to deliver on our joint commitments.”

US Secretary of State Pike Pompeo calls on PM Imran Khan at PM office in Islamabad.

 Pompeo also met his Pakistani counterpart Qureshi in the morning and said he was “very pleased” with the meeting.

Qureshi said that the Trump administration is revisiting its policies and they have realized that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.

“The only way to resolve the Afghan conflict is a negotiated political settlement,” he added. “Imran Khan has long been saying that the Afghan conflict has no military solution and we will have to find a political solution.”

The Trump administration has accused Pakistan of helping Afghan Taliban and its Haqqani network who have staged attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies this.

“We need Pakistan to seriously engage to help us get to the reconciliation we need in Afghanistan,” Pompeo had said before heading to Pakistan. “The very reason for this trip is to try to articulate what it is our expectation is, the things that they can do, the things that they expect us to do, and see if we can’t find a path forward together.”

Qureshi said that the US needs Pakistan’s help to find a political solution to the Afghan conflict and they have assured the US delegation that we will play a positive role.

“Peace and stability in Afghanistan will also benefit Pakistan,” Qureshi said. “Our objective is peace, stability, regional connectivity and economic stability and we intend to move forward with a positive approach.”

He said that his first foreign visit as the foreign minister will be to Afghanistan.

“I told Secretary Pompeo that there is a new government in Pakistan and the US administration needs to understand what the people of Pakistan expect from it.”