Sharif, Trump To Meet In Saudi Arabia

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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and United States President Donald Trump are expected to meet each other on the sidelines of the U.S-Arab Islamic Summit that is scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia on May 21.

This would be their first bilateral meet after both had a telephonic conversation in December. The Express Tribune quoted Pakistan Foreign officials, as saying that efforts are on to arrange a maiden bilateral meet between the two leaders.

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Another Pakistani official, quoted by a daily, said the Prime Minister was preparing for a ‘brief interaction’ with the U.S. President to discuss on a range of international issues including Islamabad’s role in Afghanistan’s current situation and its tension with India.

This comes days after US rebuked Pakistan for its failure to curb support to anti-India militants and warned that Islamabad-based terrorist groups are planning attacks in India and Afghanistan.

“The threat to the United States and the West from Pakistani-based terrorist groups will be persistent but diffuse,” the statement of the US Intelligence Community Senate Select Committee on Intelligence read.

U.S. also named some of the groups that would pose threat to Pakistan’s internal security, including -e Taliban Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Ahrar, al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent, ISIS-K, Laskhare Jhangvi, and Lashkar-e Jhangvi al-Alami.

The U.S. also opposed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and argued that the project, to which India has been vociferously objecting, would probably offer militants and terrorists additional targets.

The Trump Adminsitrat6ion also took strong umbrage with the Pakistan government’s version of the telephone conversation that took place with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Saying that Islamabad had overplayed President Elect Trump’s offer to play “a role” in resolving Pakistan’s disputes with India, the transition team released its own version of the telephone call.

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