In Trump’s “Great Relationship” Remark, Pak Sees Signs of Improving Ties

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Trump also said he looked forwards to meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan. (FILE PHOTO)


Pakistan on Thursday said President Donald Trump's remarks that US wants a "great relationship" with Islamabad signals a departure from his stance taken at the beginning of 2018.

Trump, on January 1, 2018, had slammed Pakistan for not doing enough in the war on terror and also stopped the $1.3 billion in military aid to its former ally.

"We look forward to positive engagement with the US at the leadership level," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal told reporters in his weekly media briefing.

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In his first comments in 2019, Trump said the US wants a "great relationship" with Pakistan but cannot do so as the country "houses enemies".

He also said he looks forward to meeting with the new leadership in Pakistan.

To a question on the US' decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, he said the US troops should be part of a peace process with a view to ensure that there is no power vacuum in Afghanistan.

"It is Pakistan's genuine desire that peace returns to Afghanistan as it will allow the return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and beginning of an era of prosperity and normalcy in the region," he said.

The official said Pakistan always made positive efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and recently a trilateral dialogue involving Pakistan, Afghanistan and China was held in Kabul.

He said the Afghan Taliban have reportedly refused to enter into direct negotiations with the Afghan government.

Pakistan will continue its outreach to regional countries and important international partners for mutually beneficial cooperation and to advance the peace and reconciliation process, he said.

"It is important that Afghanistan does not let any country, terrorist group or individual to use its territory against Pakistan," he said.

Welcoming the victory of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the general elections, he said Pakistan-Bangladesh relations should move forward in line with the 1974 tripartite agreement.

"We welcome the newly elected government in Bangladesh and hope and expect that it would help take the bilateral relationship away from the irritants that it has faced in the recent times," he said.

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