- Prime Minister Imran Khan hails meeting with Trump; says two sides will ensure there is no communica ..
Prime Minister Imran Khan Hails Meeting With Trump; Says Two Sides Will Ensure There Is No Communication Gap
Sumaira FH 5 months ago Tue 23rd July 2019 | 10:29 PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday hailed his White House meeting with President Donald Trump as a "pleasant surprise," saying the Pakistani side was blown over by the U.S. leader's welcome and conversation
"It was a pleasant surprise. We were all blown over. We loved the meeting," Khan said speaking at the US Institute of Peace, a day after more than three hours meetings.
Imran Khan said Pakistan and the U.S. now had the best relationship in years. "Now we will ensure that there is no communication gap," between the two sides, he said referring to years of trust deficit between the two countries in the past.
He said his government had "stabilized the economy" which he inherited in a state of virtual bankruptcy.
"Now we can move ahead and start reforms," he said, citing his government's agenda of improving the education sector, stepping economic growth, expanding tax collection, boosting exports and narrowing fiscal account deficit.
He said Kashmir dispute had held back development in South Asia. Kashmir should be resolved as per aspirations of Kashmiri people, he added.
The worst phase in the Pakistan-US relationships was over, he said referring to years when the U.S. escalated the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan region and Pakistan fought America's war on terror at a high human and economic cost, but was still not trusted.
Imran Khan recalled his meetings with Democrats in 2009, and said he tried to explain to them that there was going to be no military solution, but felt they had no understanding of Afghanistan. "Fortunately this time, people now understand," he said.
"Peace in Afghanistan will come about through peace talks," he said.
Referring to the ongoing process of facilitating talks with the Taliban, he said, "If we all work together then this is the best chance for peace in Afghanistan."The prime minister said now that he had spoken to President Trump and President Ghani, he would meet Taliban when he went back to Pakistan. The militant group should talk to the Afghan government, he added.