President Trump has tweeted, as recently as this year, that the U.S. “foolishly” gave Pakistan tens of billions of dollars in aid over the decades, only to receive “lies & deceit” and failure to help fight terrorists in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has called Mr. Trump’s criticisms of his country “ignorant and ungrateful” and complained repeatedly that Washington doesn’t appreciate Islamabad’s contribution to the war on terror.
But the mood and the conversation may be considerably warmer when Mr. Khan, a former cricket star, makes his first trip to the White House on Monday since his election 11 months ago. Oval Office talks with Mr. Trump are expected to center on the future of Afghanistan, counterterrorism, defense, energy and trade.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who will accompany Mr. Khan, told reporters in Islamabad that Pakistan sees the visit as a way to reset relations. The meeting itself is an “acknowledgment of the inherent importance” of better bilateral ties, he said.
The Khan government offered a pre-summit olive branch with the arrest Wednesday of Hafiz Saeed, a radical cleric and U.S.-wanted terrorist suspect implicated in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Saeed was arrested in Punjab Province while traveling from Lahore to Gujranwala, Pakistani officials told The Associated Press.