ISLAMABAD: Leading US Senator Lindsey Graham vowed Sunday to urge President Donald Trump to meet Imran Khan to boost Washington’s Afghanistan peace efforts, calling the Pakistani prime minister an “agent of change”, reports AFP.
The Republican—an influential ally of Trump—made the comments in Islamabad after meeting with the Pakistani leader, saying Khan was a “new partner” who could potentially help with a peace deal in Afghanistan.“I’m going to urge him (Trump) to meet with the prime minister as soon as practical,” Graham told reporters, saying he believed Khan and Trump would “hit if off” because they have “similar personalities”.
“Prime Minister Khan is the agent of change that I’ve been looking for,” he added.
Ties between Washington and Islamabad have soured recently, with US officials repeatedly accusing Pakistan of turning a blind eye to or even collaborating with the Afghan Taliban, which launch attacks in Afghanistan from alleged havens along the border between the two countries.
Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Pakistan’s alleged duplicity, saying late last year that Islamabad does not do “a damn thing” for the US.
Khan has been equally critical of Trump, saying before 2018’s election in Pakistan that a potential meeting with the US president would be a “bitter pill” to swallow. The US lawmaker’s trip to Pakistan comes as American officials have held several rounds of talks with Taliban representatives.
Graham said a meeting between the two leaders was vital to carve out a potential deal in Afghanistan. “They actually need to meet and come up with a agenda that will push a resolution to the war in Afghanistan,” the senator added.