Monday at The White House held the gathering between president Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Trump and Khan have been corresponding via Twitter following Khan’s winning of Pakistan’s general election just over a year ago.
“I’ve been looking forward to this since I assumed office”- Khan stated.
The two leaders spoke about focusing on working together with mending relations of the estranged two countries. Since the United States cut off $300 million in military funding to Pakistan and among complaints, that the country isn’t doing enough to combat terrorism. They planned to discuss many topics, including energy, trade, counterterrorism, and aims to bring stability to South Asia, putting an end to the 18 year-long conflicts between the countries.
The Trump administration is encouraging Pakistan to exercise its leverage and influence with the Taliban. To achieve a cease-fire in Afghanistan, to improve the peace process and create stability so he can end or considerably reduce America’s involvement in the war.
“This is the longest war the U.S. has ever fought,” Khan said, “There was always going to be a political settlement at the end.”
Tensions between Washington and Islamabad shifted slightly last week after Pakistani officials arrested a radical cleric and U.S.-wanted terror suspect involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Hafiz Saeed was taken into custody in Punjab province while traveling from the eastern city of Lahore to the city of Gujranwala, according to counterterrorism official Mohammad Shafiq.
Saeed founded the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was blamed for the Mumbai attacks killing 166 people. His charity organizations, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat, are alleged fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The United States had put a $10 million reward out for Saeed’s arrest, while Washington recently increased pressure on Islamabad to crack down on terror groups. In response, Pakistan registered over a dozen cases against Saeed and several of his associates, accusing them of supporting militant groups through charities and leading to last Wednesday’s arrest.
“After a ten-year search, the so-called ‘mastermind’ of the Mumbai terror attacks has been arrested in Pakistan,” Trump tweeted Wednesday-“Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!”
Saeed’s arrest was complicated as officials in the country allowed him to live openly in Lahore and even give interviews to foreign media.