WASHINGTON, July 15: The US State Department confirmed on Friday that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s visit to the United States has been postponed. A State Department official, when contacted by Dawn, said Pakistan had informed the US that the visit had been postponed but did not say what reasons Islamabad gave.

“If you want the reason, you need to talk to the government of Pakistan,” the official said and added, “It is Pakistan’s decision. The US did not ask them to do so.”

Pakistan’s deputy chief of mission in Washington Mohammed Sadiq said worsening flood situation at home had forced the government to delay the visit and forthcoming local body elections also contributed to the decision.

Mr Aziz was scheduled to visit the US from July 28, 10 days after the first state visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The White House had even announced the schedule of Mr Aziz’s July 29 meeting with President Bush.

So far it is not clear if the prime minister will visit the US after the floods and the polls.

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