Home South Asia Pakistan Foreign Office warns against speculating Prime Minister’s foreign visits

Foreign Office warns against speculating Prime Minister’s foreign visits

The US Department of State has denied confirmation of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to Washington, stating that the White House has the capacity to do so. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has cautioned against any speculations surrounding the upcoming visit

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News Desk |

The US State Department on Tuesday stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s official visit to the White House has not yet been confirmed by the White House.

Addressing the department press briefing, US State Department Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus said, “To my knowledge, that (PM Khan’s visit) has actually not been confirmed by the White House.”

Morgan Ortagus added that she had read media reports of the upcoming visit, but the state department cannot confirm upcoming visits as that responsibility sits with the White House.

The Foreign Office had confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump has been scheduled for 22nd July at the White House.

Responding to a question on the upcoming dialogue between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ortagus said, “I know that I have read the same reports that you have, but I would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm that visit, but that’s – we don’t have anything to announce here from the State Department.”

Given the fallacious and speculative reports circulating on media platforms, the Foreign Office spokesperson, Dr. Mohammad Faisal, cautioned against speculating the details of the upcoming visit.

FO Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal said, “We wish to caution against speculation about PM’s visit.”

Read more: Khan Trump meeting confirmed for July 22

The spokesperson added, “We are in close contact with the U.S. side. As per practice, formal announcements are made at the appropriate time.”

Earlier on 4th July, the Foreign Office had confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump has been scheduled for 22nd July at the White House.

Addressing the weekly press briefing, Dr. Mohammad Faisal had noted, “At the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Washington and hold a meeting with President Trump on 22nd July 2019. Agenda of the meeting is being developed through diplomatic channels. A detailed curtain raiser will be issued before the visit. The focus would be to refresh the bilateral relationship.”

Media Speculations & FO

In light of the recently published speculations and fake news, Dawn News has come under sharp criticism for disseminating fake news.

No propaganda outlet should be allowed to get away with compromising state’s interests. Earlier story was about Pak-Russia relations. Now it is with US-Pak.

Shahid Raza, Editor Defense & Strategic Affairs at GVS News, criticized the news outlet for “deliberately trying to sabotage Pakistan’s foreign relations.”

Raza tweeted, “Both FAKE, misleading stories were posted by DAWN journalist Naveed Siddiqui, causing a major embarrassment for Pakistan. This could be a deliberate attempt at sabotage. Such fake news should be investigated. DAWN is deliberately trying to sabotage Pakistan’s foreign relations.”

Jan Achakzai, senior political analyst and Chairman of the Centre for Geo-Politics and Balochistan, also accused Dawn of “scandalizing Pakistan’s foreign relations.”

Achakzai noted, “Time to close down Dawn: it is scandalizing Pakistan’s foreign relations, bringing in bad reputation 2 states of Pakistan.”

Read more: Trump-Imran meeting expected in the near future: FM Qureshi

He added, “No propaganda outlet should be allowed to get away with compromising state’s interests. Earlier story was about Pak-Russia relations. Now it is with US-Pak.”

Many prominent analysts and professionals came forward on Twitter to criticize the Foreign Office for not being responsible for disseminating news regarding official visits and negating media speculations with a timely response.

Trump’s Willingness to Meet Imran

Analysts believe that the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Khan and President Trump, whenever it takes place, will be of significant importance. It would mark the first high-level interaction between Islamabad and Washington after Trump assumed the presidential office.

Speculations from diplomatic channels reveal that the upcoming US visit is being finalized through diplomatic efforts, and Trump’s willingness to meet with Prime Minister Imran indicates Washington’s desire to avail Pakistan’s help in settling multiple issues, particularly the Afghan reconciliation process.

Washington has also declared the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a global terrorist organization, a decision that is highly appreciated by Islamabad.

Upon assuming office, President Donald Trump had accused Pakistan of giving the US nothing but “lies and deceit” and canceled the security aid that Pakistan received for its contributions and unprecedented casualties in America’s war on terror. Even though Trump started out by being unfairly critical of Pakistan’s role in the war on terror, particularly Islamabad’s influence with the Taliban.

Earlier in 2019, PM Khan and Donald Trump sparred with words on Twitter, and during this fiery exchange, Imran Khan highlighted Pakistan’s 75000 casualties and billions of dollars’ worth of losses fighting America’s war on terror.

Dr. Faisal had noted that Washington is appreciative of Pakistan’s role in staging an intra-Afghan dialogue and facilitating a lasting Afghan peace. During the upcoming visit, the two leaders will focus on building cordial and trustful relations, along with discussing the US withdrawal for Afghanistan.

Washington has also declared the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as a global terrorist organization, a decision that is highly appreciated by Islamabad.

Read more: Trump-Imran meeting possible after Afghan talks: Fawad

Addressing this development at the weekly press briefing, Dr. Faisal had noted, “The U.S. Administration has designated the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) as Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). BLA remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2006 and in recent times has carried out several terrorist attacks in the country. It is important that the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and external sponsors including those glorifying these acts of terror against Pakistan are held accountable and brought to justice.”

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