After Imran Khan’s visit, US says it is now time for Pakistan to build on promise to fight terrorism

The United States on Thursday said that it was now time for Pakistan to build on the commitments that its Prime Minister Imran Khan made during his recent visit to Washington. Khan reportedly promised to facilitate peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government, and fight against terrorism.

Khan met President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and many other politicians and businesspeople during his first official three-day visit to the US.

“There was a number of issues that were discussed not only in the President’s meeting but with the Secretary’s meeting as well, and now is the time to build upon that meeting and build upon those commitments,” US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, according to .

“Now we think it is time to make progress on the success of this first meeting. I would note one of the things that the prime minister said that he vowed to urge the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government,” Ortagus said, adding that the US and Pompeo were committed to fighting against terror.

Ortagus added that the US was “working closely with Pakistanis” to recover hostages. But she did not explain who these hostages were. “We think his [Khan’s] statements were helpful and we are of course hopeful that there will be some action proceeding those statements,” she added.

Pakistan has often been accused of providing safe havens to terror organisations such as the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Speaking at the United States Institute of Peace earlier this week, Imran Khan admitted that about 30,000 to 40,000 militants still operate from his country. “Until we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because when you talk about militant groups, we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed people who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir,” Khan said.