WASHINGTON: There are reports that Pakistan has formally launched a major diplomatic campaign to establish early ties with the Trump administration in the White House to get a foothold against Indian lobby.
Pakistan is also considering the possibility of sending Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend US President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural ceremony on Jan 20.
Officials at the Pakistan Embassy, however, say that while Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi’s visit to the United States is the first of several planned in the early days of the Trump administration, it’s “still too early to talk about the PM’s visit”.
Mr Fatemi, who begins his official engagements in Washington on Monday, will also visit New York early next week for meetings with members of the Trump transition team. In Washington, Mr Fatemi will meet members of the new US Congress, elected last month, and officials of the outgoing Obama administration.
There are at least two people in the senior Trump team who are familiar with Pakistan and are aware of its importance in the fight against terrorism — the nominee for Secretary of Defence, James Mattis, and the proposed National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. Mr Flynn, also a retired general, spoke about Pakistan’s role in the war against terrorism when he attended a qawali at the Pakistan Embassy in September.
But diplomatic observers in Washington say that while Pakistani visitors may find some ‘eager listeners’ both in Washington and New York, they will also have to face “some probing, if not hostile, questions from their hosts,” as one of the observers said.
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