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WASHINGTON: US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet will lead a delegation to Pakistan this week as Washington and Islamabad seek to repair ties strained under former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The US delegation will visit Bangladesh and Pakistan from Feb. 14-18 to meet with senior government officials, civil society members and business leaders, the State Department said in a statement on Monday.

Imran, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament last April, had reportedly antagonised the United States throughout his tenure.

He welcomed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 and accused Washington of being behind the attempt to oust him in 2022.

Washington and Pakistan’s National Security Council, a body of top civil and military leaders, dismissed his accusations. Khan was succeeded as prime minister by Shehbaz Sharif.

The US delegation’s visit comes as the $350-billion economy of Pakistan is still reeling from devastating floods last year that left at least 1,700 people dead, and the government estimates rebuilding efforts will cost $16 billion.

Second round: Pak-US defence dialogue to begin today

The nation is in the grip of a full-blown economic crisis.

Talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund were scheduled to resume online this week after 10 days of face-to-face discussions in Islamabad on how to keep the country afloat ended without a deal on Friday.

The Dawn newspaper reported late in January that Pakistan had sought US support to unlock the stalled IMF program that would release $1.1 billion to its strained economy as the country rebuilds.

IMF grudgingly agrees to 45pc power subsidy slash

“The delegation will also reaffirm the strong security cooperation between our nations,” the State Department said on Monday.

Economic ties and cooperation to tackle the impact of climate change would be on the agenda in the meeting between US and Pakistani officials, the department added.

Comments

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Rizwan Feb 14, 2023 12:49pm
Imran Khan knew that a large chunk of Pakistanis are gullible, and believe in conspiracy theories and populist speeches. He used that very well for his own gains.
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Adnan Feb 14, 2023 01:57pm
Imran Khan didn’t antagonise the US. The US had virtually cut all ties due to the establishment preparing the installation of the Afghan Taliban. Khan was warmly welcomed by bipartisan leaders along the spectrum in the US. He was expected to deliver to the US a safe exit. The Pak military refused to do so & pushed Imran to be more hawkish against the US. In the end Khan was blamed & the US told it was his decisions in Afghanistan, by the military. Childish fools do not understand. The real gullible goats.
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Notsurprised Feb 14, 2023 02:51pm
Niazi has taken on the task to bring Pakistan on par with Afghanistan. He came quite close. Lets hope he is not allowed to further damage international relations, our society and our economy any further.
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TimeToMovveOn Feb 14, 2023 04:26pm
There are millions of IK supporters who defy logic and still believe that the US removed IK. IK is a nobody in the international scene for the US, to remove him. He is not Putin or Assad to be removed. He only brought up the US diplomatic cable once the opposition were close to VONC, and he knew that Bajwa does not have his back. The US Pak these bonhomies are short lived. IK will come to power, and screw up relations with KSA, US, and the rest.
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