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Published On: Mon, Jul 22nd, 2019

Pak PM Imran Khan not accorded due welcome in US

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1563677412-Imran_USWASHINGTON: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden trip to the US, where he is slated to meet US President Donald Trump, started on a bad note. It looked like the Donald Trump administration doesn’t care much about Pakistan premier’s maiden visit.
Reports have emerged that not a single US official came to receive the Pakistan prime minister at the airport. Khan, who had boarded a commercial flight instead of a private jet to cut down expenses, was instead received by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Dulles International Airport.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan may have been given a diplomatic snub when he arrived in Washington on his first US trip to reboot bilateral ties that have seen a slump in recent months.

With his country in a financial crisis, Mr Khan made it a point to travel by a commercial flight, Qatar Airways, instead of a private jet, to cut down expenses.When his flight touched down at Dulles airport, reportedly there was no high ranking US administration official to welcome him. Later, Mr Khan took a metro ride to the Pakistani envoy’s house.
Commentators on social media speculated that Mr Khan had been snubbed by the US administration. One sensational claim said that that the Pakistani government had even offered to pay $250,000 to the State Department to arrange an official welcome the premier, but it was refused. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was at the airport to receive Mr Khan and also accompanied him on the metro ride.
Acting Chief of Protocol, Mary-Kate Fisher, who had welcomed the Pakistan Prime Minister at the airport, accompanied him on the metro ride. The State Department later said the Acting Chief of Protocol had received the visiting Prime Minister, “as is standard for an Official Working Visit to the White House”.
Imran Khan, who is staying at the official residence of the Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan, is to meet US President Donald Trump on July 22. Mr Khan, who was greeted by members of the Pakistani expatriate community, later met with the Pakistani business community.
During his three-day visit, the Pakistani Prime Minister is also to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) acting chief David Lipton and World Bank President David Malpass. Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are accompanying Mr Khan to the US.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington has hired the services of top lobbying firm Holland & Knight to help advance the country’s interests in the US. His visit comes as Pakistan has received a $6 billion bailout from the IMF despite concerns expressed by the US.
(With Inputs fro Agencies).

 

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