Donald Trump greets Imran Khan in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Monday. Reuters
President Donald Trump on Monday offered to mediate the decades-long Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, a move that would signal a shift in long-standing US policy that the issue must be solved bilaterally.
"If I can help, I would love to be a mediator," Trump said at the White House, where he was hosting Prime Minister Imran Khan. "If I can do anything to help, let me know."
Trump, speaking at a White House meeting with Imran, said on Monday the United States is working with Islamabad to find a way out of the war in Afghanistan.
Trump held out the possibility of restoring US aid to Pakistan, depending upon what is worked out, and offered assistance to Islamabad in trying to ease strained ties with India.
Imran told Trump there was only one solution for Afghanistan and that a peace deal with the Taliban was closer than it had ever been. He said he hoped in the coming days to be able to urge the Taliban to continue the talks.
The United States views Pakistan's cooperation with a deal to end the 17-year-old war as essential but the two countries have a complicated relationship.
Imran Khan on Sunday night had addressed a 'record-breaking' gathering of the Pakistani diaspora in Washington on Sunday.
Officials said over 30,000 Pakistanis attended the PM’s gathering at Capital One Arena in the heart of US.
Imran Khan received a warm welcome at the Arena.
He said, “I thank you from the heart for giving me so much respect today. I had thought that in Washington we would call 500-1000 people to a hotel and speak to them. I couldn’t even fathom that I would get to speak to you in such a big arena…”
The premier is in the US on a three-day official visit.
The official Twitter account of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said, “30,000 Pakistanis in US gather to welcome Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI. Makes us very nostalgic about our jalsas in Pakistan where our opponents also estimated our numbers!”
The National Anthem of Pakistan was played at the arrival of Imran Khan at the Capital One Arena who opened the gathering.
Imran Khan addressed the crowd and made promises to fulfill all their demands.Here are some of the excerpts from Imran Khan's speech:
3.59: When Allah blesses us with immense respect & honor that 30,000+ people come out to welcome our PM even in US. The head bows in gratitude for Allah while the heart is moved by the public’s love!: Imran Khan
3.54: I am going to go back and make sure there is no air conditioning or no tv for Nawaz Sharif who is a criminal. I know Maryam Bibi will make some noise, but I say to her, return the money. It’s as simple as that: Imran Khan
3.49: Nawaz Sharif wants food from home in jail, he wants air conditioning in jail. But in a country where half the population has no air conditioning or tv, what kind of a punishment would this be? Imran Khan asked.
3.44: Today Pakistan’s debt stands at 30,000 billion. In 60 years Pakistan’s debt was at 6000 billion. And in the last 10 years it has climbed to 30,000 billion. Where did this money go? This is the money we will bring back from them: Imran Khan
3.40: We will also fix PIA. Don’t worry, it is on my radar. When we took power, every institution in Pakistan was in deep losses. We going through a difficult transition but you will see all these institutions move towards profitability: Imran Khan
3.30: InshAllah this is our vision for Pakistan. Merit & Equality for all! Even Pakistan cricket team is an example of lack of merit in our systems. But I promise you I will also change Pakistan cricket system; there have been enough disappointments: Imran Khan
3.23: Minorities had equal rights in the state of Madina. It formed the basis for modern day society as we know it today. There was a system of merit in which no one was discriminated against on the basis of class, gender, religion: Imran Khan.
3.18: Women were given rights for the first time in the state of Madina. It is unfortunate that our women in so many parts of Pakistan do not get their rights. But we are bringing in laws to protect the women of Pakistan: Imran Khan
3.15: It was not a rich state. But it decided it wanted to take care of its people and it was the first state that introduced progressive taxation. Taking from the wealthy and giving to the poor to create equality: Imran Khan
3.13: The state of Medina was the first state made on the basis of welfare and justice. It had empathy for the weak; for widows, orphans, the elderly, the most downtrodden: Imran Khan
2.59: Your children must know why Pakistan was created; it was supposed to be an Islamic Welfare State. What do we mean by that? A modern state. A state made on the principles of justice: Imran Khan
2.56: Pakistan was made on the basis of a massive dream. The dreams of two great leaders. Quaid e Azam and Allama Iqbal. I want you to tell your children in the US what this dream was: Imran Khan
2.49: I want to promise you that we will InshaAllah realise that promise where I once told you that people from outside Pakistan will come to seek jobs in Pakistan: Imran Khan
2.48: We went to China; we saw how they have used technology to increase yield from both their agricultural and farming sectors. I am just using this as an example to tell you how much research we are doing the world over to put Pakistan on the map: Imran Khan
2.45: By cleaning up corruption and showing an honest government to the world, we will attract investment from the world over : Imran Khan
2.34: But all we have done is make the institutions independent to do their job and be able to question the untouchable powerful political elite of Pakistan : Imran Khan
2.33: When questioned, they say they are being politically victimised. And give me a lot of importance saying Imran Khan is targeting us : Imran Khan
2.33: What’s happening today in Pakistan is Naya Pakistan. Where the powerful are being held accountable. When people can question the powerful, this is Naya Pakistan : Imran Khan
2.30: The Magna Carta’s basis is on the fact that leadership must be held accountable. This forms the basis for modern day democracy. But in Pakistan; when courts make a decision, they say “Kyun Nikala” : Imran Khan
2.29: In democracy, it is the leader of the country who is accountable. This is a very important tenet of our religion as well; that leaders are accountable : Imran Khan
2.26: You go anywhere in the world, see China’s communist party and you see how they reward merit and let the best of the best come up. The beauty of democracy is merit : Imran Khan
2.26: Nawaz Sharif was propped up by military dictator. Shahbaz sharif was propped up because he was his brother. Asif Zardari & Bilawal became leaders on basis of some piece of paper that left party behind to them. Similar stories with other parties : Imran Khan
2.24: Something similar happened with the Ottoman Empire. Allama Iqbal has also said that it is the system of kingdoms that led to the decline of Muslim super powers :Imran Khan
2.23: There is a reason why the Muslim world has been left behind; the Mughal Empire was at its peak and then went into decline because successive dynastic rulers did not have the capability to lead : Imran Khan
2.22: In dynasties, the son of a King may not necessarily be a good leader. In democracies like the US, it is the system of merit that lets their people choose their leaders : Imran Khan
2.20:If there is anywhere in the world that I have seen the best of cricketing talent; it is in Pakistan. But because we don’t have a system of merit, our talent is not given the opportunity to rise :Imran Khan
2.19: Australia is that team which has been the most successful in cricket; why? This is because Australia has a system that nurtures and lets talent rise :Imran Khan
2.19: Nations that have gone ahead in world are those that have gone ahead on basis of meritocracy. I will give you example of cricket :Imran Khan
2.18: These two reasons are crucial to understand why we were left so far behind from the world. Democracy has merit, kingdoms and monarchies have none; they have nepotism and dynasties : Imran Khan
2.17: This is that country which will InshAllah transform every year. You will see it rising by the year. You have to understand two things today; why did democracy flourish in the world and kingdoms decline : Imran Khan
2.15: My Pakistanis; one thing you have to remember that this country that we have been blessed with, no one has any idea how many blessings of Allah have been bestowed on us: Imran Khan
Foreign Minister SM Qureshi addressed the crowd. He said, “Your enthusiasm has made many people very happy today. But some people are also very worried to see this. Before this community events were confined to Embassy rooms or 5 star hotels. First time it reached a stadium like Capital Arena.”
Qureshi said, “Many Pakistani Prime Ministers have visited US but this the first PM in history who didn’t charter a Boeing 777 but took a commercial flight. Who chose to stay at Pakistan House rather an expensive hotel.
“We are so proud of our overseas Pakistanis. You came here to foreign lands, worked your way hard to high positions & contribute to Pakistan in whatever way you can. Your remittances amount to almost our exports if I’m not wrong.
“So there is one type of Pakistanis like you who work hard & send their hard earned halal money to Pakistan and then there are money launderers in Pakistan who send their money from Pakistan over here
“We’re here to open new corridors on borders that were previously closed. I am referring to Kartarpur & CPEC. We’re here to invite investors of US to invest in Pakistan.”
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