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PM Imran departs for 3-day US trip

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday departed for his 3-day visit to the United States on a commercial Qatar Airways flight.

. Current Affairs Digest by Dr Safdar Mahmood

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday departed for his 3-day visit to the United States on a commercial Qatar Airways flight.

He will arrive in Washington on Saturday afternoon (local time) and stay at the ambassador’s residence in the city’s diplomatic enclave.

During the premier's stopover in Doha, he was hosted by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, Radio Pakistan reported.


PM Imran Khan at Doha airport prior to leaving for USA

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The decision to take a commercial flight has been touted as a bid to "save taxpayer money". The government has repeatedly promised that the entire trip will cost a total $60,000 to the exchequer — significantly less than the much higher expenditures allegedly incurred by past chief executives.


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COAS and ISI chief accompany PM

Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the director general of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are accompanying the prime minister.

Apparently, this will be the first time that the country’s top generals will accompany a prime minister to a White House meeting with the US president

Diplomatic sources told Dawn that Gen Bajwa would meet Defence Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan, the new chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Mark Milley and other senior officials during his visit to Pentagon.

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This will be Gen Milley’s first meeting with a foreign military leader since his confirmation on Thursday by the US Senate's Armed Services Committee.

Commenting on the PM’s decision to bring top military officials to Washington, Marvin Weinbaum, a US scholar of South Asian affairs, said: “Policymakers in Washington have noticed that after a long time, Pakistan’s civil and military leaders are on the same page on key issues.”

Weinbaum said Afghanistan and terrorism were two primary concerns of the Trump administration in South Asia, and they knew on such issues “no major decision can be implemented in Pakistan without the army’s support.”

Posted on July 25, 2019

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