Pakistan

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaches Pakistan today

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will reach Islamabad today (Wednesday) on a one-day official visit to Pakistan.
Mike Pompeo will be accompanied by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ambassador Alice G Wells during his visit to Pakistan.
US Secretary of State will meet foreign minister of Pakistan, Shah Mehmood Quereshi and later delegation level talks will be held at the Foreign Office.
Mike Pompeo is also expected to hold crucial meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan. US Secretary of State is also scheduled to meet Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
US Secretary of State will leave for New Delhi on the same day after completing his Pakistan visit.
According to American media, Pompeo’s visit is aimed at rapprochement with Pakistan and to restore the once close ties enjoyed by Islamabad and Washington. Pompeo will also request Pakistan to back US-led move to restart the peace process in war-torn Afghanistan.
The visit comes a few days after the Pentagon canceled aid to Pakistan over record on militants. The US military said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad’s perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.
The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with “nothing but lies & deceit.”
But US officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behavior.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorize $300 million in CSF funds through this summer – if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents. Mattis chose not to, a US official said.
“Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said.
Faulkner said the Pentagon aimed to spend the $300 million on “other urgent priorities” if approved by Congress. He said another $500 million in CSF was stripped by Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, to bring the total withheld to $800 million.
The disclosure came ahead of an expected visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top US military officer, General Joseph Dunford, to Islamabad. Mattis told reporters on Tuesday that combating militants would be a “primary part of the discussion.”
Experts on the Afghan conflict, America’s longest war, argue that militant safe havens in Pakistan have allowed Taliban-linked insurgents in Afghanistan a place to plot deadly strikes and regroup after ground offensives.