Pak PM Nawaz Sharif might like to attend Donald Trump's inauguration: Report

Pakistan has voiced optimism that the new administration in Washington will provide it with "a fresh opportunity to burnish its credentials" with the US.

Pak PM Nawaz Sharif might like to attend Donald Trump's inauguration: Report
File photo

New York: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might like to attend US President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

The Pakistani government had sent a special emissary Tariq Fatemi to Washington last week "where he hinted broadly that Sharif might like to attend Trump's inauguration", said The Washington Post.

Fatemi said he believed the incoming Trump administration would provide Pakistan with "a fresh opportunity to burnish its credentials" with the United States, the report said.

It added that senior Pakistani officials said they take the long view of their country's relationship with the US, which has been dominated by military and intelligence ties.

"Our relationship with the United States is almost as old as Pakistan itself. There have been ups and downs, but overall we have remained very close," Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's top foreign policy chief, said in an interview.

"Through both Republican and Democratic administrations, there has been a broad continuity in policy, and we fully expect our relations will continue on an uphill trajectory," he added.

Following Trump's conversation with Sharif, in which Trump is said to have hinted casually that he would be willing to help Pakistan solve its historic differences with India, Pakistani officials are now "scrambling to prepare for an unpredictable new phase" in its wary but enduring partnership with Washington.

Pakistani officials said they also want to reassure the incoming administration that their relations with other countries are not a "zero sum game" and are independent of their policies toward the US. 

They insisted that their deepening economic trade and plans for a major transportation corridor to China do not represent a "pivot" away from their longtime economic and military links with Washington.

Aziz added that Pakistan, like the US, wants to see Afghanistan become peaceful and stable.

He said Pakistan has been "frustrated" that its efforts to arrange peace talks with the Taliban have failed, and that rising attacks in Afghanistan have been partly the result of Pakistan's military raids to drive the insurgents out of the tribal border areas.

Meanwhile, India on December 01 had said that it would welcome US-Pakistan talks to resolve the issue of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

"I will reserve my judgement. We have seen only one side of the conversation. And that conversation does talk about the US President-elect willing to resolve all outstanding issues of Pakistan. We believe that the most outstanding issue of the outstanding issues is Pakistan's continued support to terrorism. To that extent, we will welcome a dialogue between the US and Pakistan to resolve that issue," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said.

(With PTI inputs)

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