Obama’s visit to Pakistan not postponed: Bashir
According to a report, Obama’s pledged trip to Islamabad in 2011 is now a headache for the White House.
Islamabad: US President Barack Obama’s visit to Pakistan has not been postponed, but the date of his arrival is yet to be confirmed, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir has said.
“As do I think, [the] Obama visit was not postponed,” The Nation quoted Bashir, as saying while talking to journalists after attending a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting.
Obama had told Pakistani officials last year that he planned to visit the country in 2011, in part to soothe concerns that he was favouring Pakistan’s neighbour and archrival, India, by visiting there first.
However, things may not be the same as the al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, who had evaded capture for a decade, was killed in a top secret operation involving a small team of US Special Forces in Abbottabad, located 50 kilometres northeast of Islamabad.
According to a report, Obama’s pledged trip to Islamabad in 2011 is now a headache for the White House as it tries to determine Pakistan’s alleged complicity in allowing bin Laden to live on its soil.
The United States is also seeking access to the three widows of bin Laden, who are in Pakistani custody, because it believes that they can provide valuable information that would contribute to the ongoing counterterrorism efforts.
However, when asked about giving the US access to bin Laden’s widows, Bashir said that no country had made a contact in this regard.
Responding to another question, the Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan was fighting the war on terror for its own interest, adding that al Qaeda had spread its tentacles everywhere in the world.
“It is a global issue and the whole world has to fight it,” he maintained.
Bashir also said that Pakistan’s relations with the US were heading in the right direction, and that the media should avoid making speculations in this regard.