The United States has not officially confirmed the visit of Pakistan PM Imran Khan to the US scheduled for July 22. “To my knowledge, that [Imran’s visit] has actually not been confirmed by the White House,” said US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus on Tuesday.
The spokesperson added that she has read the reports of the visit, but it is up to the White House to confirm or not confirm the state visit.
“I know that I have read the same reports that you have, but I would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm that visit, but that’s – we don’t have anything to announce here from the State Department,” she said in response to a question regarding expected meetings scheduled between the US and the Pakistani leadership.
However, the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) cautioned “against speculation about the PM’s visit”. On July 4, the FO confirmed that PM Imran will meet President Donald Trump on July 22 at the White House.
“We are in close contact with the US side,” said FO Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal. The visit, if it happens, will be important given the fact that this would be the first high-level interaction between the two nations.
Earlier this year, Trump and Imran had a war of words on Twitter over Pakistan’s role in fighting terrorism. But a flurry of exchanges between the two countries appear to have eased friction and paved the way for the much-anticipated summit meeting between Trump and Imran.
Just ahead of the Khan’s expected visit, the US declared Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) a global terrorist organisation. The BLA is believed to have been behind a number of terror attacks in the Balochistan province.