ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Tuesday termed United States (US) President Donald Trump’s refusal to meet Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in New York over the pretext of being busy as “degrading” to Pakistan.
PM Abbasi is likely to meet US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, where the premier will represent Pakistan.
Rabbani, while chairing a Senate session, insisted that PM Abbasi should not meet Pence. “If Donald Trump does not have time to meet our prime minister, then there is no point holding a meeting with the vice president,” he asserted, adding that the US approach towards Pakistan is “degrading”.
Ties between Islamabad and Washington have been terse since Trump announced a new policy for Afghanistan and South Asia in his first speech as commander-in-chief, in which he accused Pakistan of “harbouring agents of chaos” and “providing safe havens to terrorists”,
“Pakistan is playing a leading role in countering terrorism in the region,” Rabbani said. “All supplies for US troops in Afghanistan go through Pakistan’s air and land routes.”