KARACHI/WASHINGTON: The Trump administration wishes to give Imran Khan, the newly-elected prime minister of Pakistan, a chance to improve bilateral ties with India, a Pentagon official said Thursday.
Randall G. Schriver, the assistant defence secretary for the United States Department of Defence’s (DoD) Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, also commented on how numerous previous governments in Pakistan have held a desire to develop better linkages with India but realised soon after coming into power the realities and ongoing challenges.
Schriver, who was asked about the trilateral ties between the US, Pakistan, and India, referred to the stance US President Donald Trump took during his electoral campaign and after assuming office, saying: “We want to give him [PM Imran] space to find the opportunities to improve things with India.”
The Pentagon official, who was appointed by Trump in January this year, was speaking at an event organised by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) and moderated by Ashley J. Tellis, a fellow at the foreign-policy think tank.
Washington’s policy regarding Islamabad was quite unlikely to change, he admitted, clarifying that the comparison with the Trump administration’s stance pertained only to the Indo-Pak relations and not the US-Pakistan links.
The cut in the financial assistance provided to Pakistan was also expected to continue, he added.
“What I said about giving him space was really in the context of the India-Pakistan relationship. We’d certainly like to give him space to make the right decisions on a variety of things.”