US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make a high-profile official visit to Pakistan on Wednesday -- his first to India's neighbour since Imran Khan became Pakistan's Prime Minister -- before heading to India on the very same day for the 2+2 dialogue that is scheduled to kick off tomorrow.
Pompeo's visit to Pakistan comes at a time that US-Pak relations are at an all-time low, culminating in a heated geopolitical tete-a-tete as the Trump government moved to block $300 million in military aid to Pakistan, to which Pakistan protested saying that the money was meant as reimbursement and not aid, and that the US should pay it what's owed even if it doesn't mean to continue with its aid programme for Pakistan.
Post their arrival in Pakistan at about 1 pm IST, Pompeo and his delegation may discuss this matter in greater detail with the Pakistani establishment as he is set to hold negotiations with Imran Khan's new foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad before a separate meeting with the Pakistani Prime Minister. Terrorism is likely to form a big part of their discussions, especially seeing as Pompeo is travelling with US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford.
1. Topmost demand would be decisive action against terror group Haqqani network.
2. Second priority would be asking Pakistan to press Afghan Taliban for negotiations.
3. Pakistan needs to do more against terror groups and designated individuals like Lashkar, Hizbul, Jaish and Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin etc.
4. US to ask Pakistan to hand over Dr. Shakil Afridi.
Earlier, while calling Imran Khan to congratulate him over becoming Pakistan Prime Minister (Donald Trump didn't do so), Pompeo had implored Khan to act on terror. However, Pakistan denied that such talk over terrorism, which Pakistan is a known exporter of via all its borders, had been a part of the call. The US State Department, however, stood by its statement.
The US' crackdown on Pakistan predates Imran Khan's term as Prime Minister, beginning in earnest on the very first day of 2018 when Donald Trump launched an extraordinary Twitter attack at Pakistan, calling it out for its 'lies and deceit' and stating his intention to block aid.
Following his Pakistan visit, Pompeo will travel to India where he, as well as US Secretary of Defence James Mattis will hold the 2 + 2 dialogue with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman. US sanctions on Iranian oil imports as well as India's proposed procurement of Rs 40,000 crore in missile defence systems from Russia may be a part of the deliberations, while the US may also make a tough statement on terror from Indian soil, as per sources.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Arrives in New Delhi
Thursday, September, 6, 2018
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj holds Bilateral Meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Arrival of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Session – 1
Session – 2
Joint Call on the Prime Minister by US Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense
The US delegation emplanes