ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to the United States would give a new impetus to bilateral ties.
“The prime minister’s visit will help renew and reinvigorate long-standing ties between Pakistan and the United States. It will contribute towards building a broad-based, long-term and enduring partnership between the two countries on the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing.
“The visit will have positive impact on Pak-US bilateral relations as well as regional peace, stability and prosperity,” he added.
PM Khan will visit the United States from July 21 to 23 during which he will meet President Donald Trump on July 22. Meetings between the prime minister and members of the US Congress, corporate leaders and opinion makers as well as members of the Pakistani diaspora have also been scheduled.
About the agenda of Khan-Trump meeting, the spokesman said that it was wide-ranging covering both bilateral and regional matters.
“During his various engagements in Washington, the prime minister will outline his vision of Naya Pakistan and underscore the importance Pakistan attaches to a broader and multi-faceted relationship with the United States,” he said.
Explaining the regional part of the agenda, the spokesman said that the prime minister would “underscore Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability” and emphasise “the importance of constructive engagement to promote a political solution in Afghanistan”.
It is generally believed that PM Khan has been invited to the US by Trump Administration for seeking more help for Afghan peace so that the deal with Taliban can be concluded before the September 1 deadline mentioned by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his recent visit to Kabul.
“Pakistan will continue its policy to support international efforts that are meant to bring durable and sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” he said.
The spokesman said that PM Khan, during his meetings with US leaders, would highlight Pakistan’s policy of ‘peaceful neighbourhood’ and resolving disputes through dialogue.
ICJ: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will announce its final verdict in Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case at The Hague on July 17, the spokesman said.
The ICJ is hearing an Indian petition challenging Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to spy Jadhav after being captured from Saravan near Pak-Iran border on March 3, 2016. Jadhav, who is an Indian Navy officer, was in April 2017 sentenced to death by a military Field General Court Martial (FGCM) after being found guilty of espionage under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA), 1952, and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act of 1923.
His appeal against the conviction has been rejected by the military appellate court, while his mercy petition is lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa. He can also seek clemency from the president.
In May 2017 India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for allegedly violating Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) by denying consular access to Jadhav immediately after his capture. The world court subsequently ordered provisional measures in the case and restrained the Pakistan government from executing him till it decides the case.
Responding to various questions about the possible outcome of the case, Dr Faisal said: “Pakistan is a responsible member of the international community and will not speculate or comment on a sub judice case.” He described Jadhav as the “overt face of Indian state terrorism against Pakistan”.
KARTARPUR: On the second Pakistan–India meeting on the Kartarpur Corridor, the spokesman said that Pakistan remained committed to operationalising the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor in time for the 550th celebrations in November this year.
“Work proceeds expeditiously on the Pakistan side with more than 70 per cent of the Gurdwara complex, border terminal and the road being completed,” he said in an update on the state of work on the Corridor.
BANGLADESH: Pakistan is in the process of nominating a new high commissioner to Bangladesh after Dhaka in 2018 refused to accept the nomination of Saqlain Syedah.
“Earlier, the Government of Bangladesh had denied agrément to our high commissioner-designated to Bangladesh. We are in the process of designating a new envoy to Bangladesh,” Dr Faisal said.
Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2019