Imran Khan is all set to visit the United States later this month and will meet US President Donald Trump on July 22. If he has his way though, the Pakistan Prime Minister’s stay in Washington may well turn out to be a security nightmare for US officials.
It is reported in the Pakistani press that Imran has expressed a desire to avoid costly hotels during his stay in Washington and is considering the possibility of camping at the ambassador’s residence. Dawn has reported that it is an idea that may save a whole lot of money for a country that has a crumbling economy but that it is also a prospect that could give sleepless nights to officials of the host country. The primary responsibility of providing security cover to a Head of State visiting the US lies with the American secret services. The secret services jointly work with Washington’s administration to ensure that while visiting dignitaries are provided with a tight security cover, their stay does not inconvenience locals of the city.
Imran staying at the ambassador’s residence could well turn out to be a possible security risk while also inconveniencing locals because route maps would possibly lead through main traffic sections of the capital city. The residence is in an area where several other embassies are also located, including that of India. It is also reported that since the residence may not be large enough, several of Imran’s key meetings during his visit may have to be held at the Pakistani embassy which is a short distance away. This could possibly lead to traffic-related challenges.
Imran will also meet Trump at the White House at a time when Pakistan-US relations have nosedived. A number of key issues are likely to be discussed by the two leaders. Interestingly, while the White House has confirmed the visit, Pakistan’s Foreign Office is yet to make a formal announcement.