Key US lawmaker asks Blinken to ensure Biden calls Prime Minister Imran Khan

APP News Agency

26th Oct, 2021. 02:56 pm
Imran Khan Biden

Prime Minister Imran Khan (left) and US President Joe Biden (right). Image: File

NEW YORK: Key US Senator Bob Menendez has asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ensure President Joe Biden have a conversation with Prime Minister Imran Khan to rebuild the relationship with Pakistan.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee underscored the need for such conversations while speaking at a fundraising event hosted at the residence of a board member of the American-Pakistani Political Action Committee (APPAC), Dr Tariq Ibrahim, in New Jersey.

“I think it would serve us well to have such a conversation and, you know when we have these conversations, they are honest, and that means they are also transparent,” the senator said, referring to the request he had made to Secretary Blinken.

Such a course, he added, means “where there is agreement, we build upon it, and where there is disagreement we talk about how do we get through that disagreement.”

“I think there is an extraordinary moment in which this is a relationship that can be rebuilt to what it once was,” said Senator Menendez.

“And if we can rebuild on it we, I hope, we can expand on it — not just about Pakistan in the context of a military or security dimension, but much greater– talking about an incredibly large population that is very young; there is tremendous opportunity to build upon the economic dynamism that we create”, he said.

“And that’s what I look forward to be able to continue to promote as your US senator,” Menendez told members of the event.

‘It’s his business’

Biden has not spoken to PM Imran since he took office as the 46th US president in January this year.

In August, the premier had told foreign journalists at his residence that he was not really “waiting” for a phone call from the US president.

“I keep hearing that President Biden hasn’t called me. It’s his business. It’s not like I am waiting for any phone call,” he had said in response to a question from a journalist.

“I think the Americans have decided that India is a strategic partner. Maybe that’s why Pakistan is being treated differently. Pakistan is just considered to be useful only in the context of settling this mess.”

Pakistan’s friendship with China was another reason for the change in the US attitude, the PM had noticed.