The United States has welcomed efforts by Pakistan to increase people-to-people ties with India following the opening of the visa-free Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor which connects Narowal’s Gurdwara Darbar Sahib to Dera Baba Nanak situated in India’s Gurdaspur.
When asked about any upcoming state visit by Pakistan – after the formation of the new government – the State Department Spokesperson Robert Palladino said no new meetings between US and Pakistani officials are on the cards.
Referring to the earlier spat between the premiers of the two countries on Twitter regarding Pakistan’s role in the now 17-year old Afghan conflict, Palladino reiterated his country’s stance of asking Pakistan to ‘do more’.
“The Secretary has emphasised the need for Pakistan to deliver an outcome and build confidence and trust between our two countries, and our policy towards Pakistan is clear,” said the spokesperson referring to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s earlier statements.
In a Fox News interview and simultaneous tweets, Trump had accused Pakistan of “doing nothing” for the United States despite receiving “billions of dollars” in aid. He also defended his administration’s move to cancel financial aid to Pakistan
“We no longer pay Pakistan billions of dollars because they would take our money and do nothing for us. Bin Laden being a prime example, Afghanistan being another,” the US president wrote on the social networking site.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had hit back at the criticism by advising Washington to assess its efficiency in the War of Terror in Afghanistan instead of making Islamabad a scapegoat for its failures.
Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war and over $123 billion was lost to economy. The US ‘aid’ was a minuscule $20bn, the premier added.