Obama invites Pakistan PM for US visit

Islamabad, July 23 (IANS) US President Barack Obama has invited Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a visit to Washington to expand and deepen bilateral ties, a Pakistani diplomat said.

The visit is expected to take place in October, Dawn online quoted the diplomat as saying.

Sharif’s visit will be separate from his New York trip in September when he will attend the UN General Assembly session.

The White House invitation has not yet been officially announced.

This will be Sharif’s second visit to the White House during his current tenure. He last visited the US in October 2013.

Another Pakistani diplomat told Dawn that one reason for the White House invitation was to boost Sharif’s government, which is seemingly under pressure from the military, particularly with respect to its India policy.

Sharif’s foreign policy aides said the US invite would take the strategic partnership between the two countries to the next level.

The US government has expressed support for the Sharif government’s policy on reaching out to India.

The ongoing military operation against terrorists and Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace dialogue have also been appreciated, the report added.

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