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Diplomacy Politics

Saudi Crown Prince Helped Arrange Imran Khan’s US Visit: Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used his personal contacts with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to arrange the invitation for Prime Minister to the White House, said a report by Kamran Yousaf for The Express Tribune.

“When Imran walks into the White House and meets Trump on July 22 that would be culmination of hectic behind-the-scene diplomatic efforts spanning many months for arranging the summit.”

Quoting officials having direct knowledge, the report said efforts to arrange the prime minister’s trip to the US began in December last year after Trump wrote a letter to Imran, seeking his help in facilitating the Afghan peace process.

And an official said “the prime minister was keen to have a face-to-face interaction with Trump because he was of the view that such a meeting would help dispel many misperceptions the US president may have about Pakistan and its role in the region.”

But given the apparent tensions in relations and deepening trust deficit between the two countries, it was not possible to convince the American establishment for the Trump-Imran summit.

The only possibility was if Pakistan could bypass the US bureaucracy and make a direct contact with Trump.

“That’s when the idea of using unconventional channel came,” revealed the official, who requested not to be named.

Another figure that complemented those unprecedented efforts was Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is considered close to Trump.

Graham visited Islamabad in January and was ‘highly impressed’ with the ‘vision’ of Imran for Afghanistan and the region. He believes Trump and Imran had ‘similar personalities’ and they would surely go along well with each other.

But talking about the keenness and dispelling misconceptions, one must not forget the arrest of Hafiz Saeed. However, this episode reminds us about Imran’s publically expressed views regarding Trump.








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