Obama Invites Nawaz Sharif to Visit United States
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be visiting the US towards the end of October, according to sources.
US President Barack Obama has invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for an official visit towards the end of October, according to sources. This move is being seen as a mark of support for his policies, particularly the efforts to improve ties with neighbours including India.
Sharif has been under pressure from the army over his overt inclination for peace with India.
A formal invitation is expected to be issued in coming weeks.
Nawaz Sharif is also expected to visit the US in September for the UN General Assembly annual session and on its sidelines, he will co-chair a summit on peacekeeping.
The October trip is a part of the bilateral arrangement and will be separate from the UN session visit. This will be Sharif’s second visit to the US, the first was in 2013.
Obama’s invitation has come at a time when Pakistan has almost cleared North Waziristan tribal region of al-Qaeda linked militants and helped kick-start a peace process between Afghan government and Taliban, both key demands of the United States.
The US visit will also help boost Sharif’s regional peace policy aiming to build peaceful ties with all the neighbours.
His policy towards India has been under scanner back home due to reservation by the military, which controls the security and foreign policy of the country.
The US has deep interest in normalisation of ties between India and Pakistan and has been pushing the two sides for better ties. It is believed that the US played a role in the recent meeting between the prime ministers of the two sides in Russia, where they agreed for meetings between their top officials.
Despite the tension, Sharif persisted with his peace initiative and sent traditional gift of mangoes to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, which drew immense criticism from media, pro-military experts and parties.
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