Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday he believes that President Donald Trump would make an “exclusive visit” to Pakistan after the US presidential elections in 2020.
“I understand that he intends to visit Pakistan after the elections,” Qureshi told SAMAA TV anchorperson Nadeem Malik on his show.
“President Trump said that he will come to Pakistan.”
The US president is due in India on February 24 on a two-day visit. The Trump administration hasn’t publicly made any comments with regard to his Pakistan visit.
Last month, President Trump had said that Pakistan and the US had a “great relationship”. The statement came after his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of World Economic Forum.
Asked if he intended to visit Pakistan before or after his visit to India, Trump had said: “Well, we are visiting right now… so we don’t really have to.”
Qureshi, however, claimed that the Pakistani leadership and President Trump had a discussion over the latter’s visit to Islamabad.
He said the US president had expressed his wish to visit Pakistan.
“’I want to come to Pakistan on an exclusive visit’,” Qureshi quoted President Trump as saying.
FATF’s Paris meeting
Foreign Minister Qureshi also believed that both the US and Saudi Arabia will back Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force’s meeting in Paris.
A FATF team is currently holding discussions in Paris. Over the next few days, it will review Islamabad’s progress on countering money laundering and terror financing, and decide whether to remove Pakistan from its grey-list or downgrade it to its blacklist.
“I think Sauid Arabia and US are convinced that Pakistan is serious and it has taken concrete steps,” Qureshi said.
Hafiz Saeed’s conviction in illegal funding case
The world expected Pakistan to convict people and freeze their accounts on the charges of terrorism and Pakistan did that, the minister said. He was referring to the conviction of Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed in the illegal funding and encroachment cases by an anti-terrorism court in Lahore.
Saeed was handed five years and six months in jail in both the cases. The sentences will, however, run concurrently.
Qureshi, however, asked that shouldn’t India take action against those involved in an attack on Samjhauta Express that killed over 70 people.
Peace talks in Afghanistan
Pakistan has sincerely played its role in the Afghan peace talks, the foreign minister said, wishing that political instability they may not harm the negotiations.
On Tuesday, the Afghanistan election commission declared Ashraf Ghani the winner of the presidential election five months after it was held. Abdullah Abdullah, the Afghan chief executive and Ghani’s rival, had rejected the results.
Qureshi said it was Afghanistan internal matter and Pakistan didn’t want to interfere in it.
He, however, said that peace talks between the US and Afghan Taliban were in the interest of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.