PM should not meet US vice president, suggests Rabbani | Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani on Tuesday suggested Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to not meet US Vice President Mike Pence, during his visit to New York.

In response to reports of Abbasi’s meeting with Pence, Rabbani said, “I suggest the prime minister not to meet the US vice president. If President Trump is not meeting him then the [Pakistan] prime minister should also not meet Mike Pence.”

PM Abbasi arrived in New York Monday afternoon to lead the country’s delegation to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Pakistan premier — despite looking at a tight schedule during his four-day visit to the US — will be interacting with US Vice President Mike Pence. He will also partake in UN events pertaining to the UNGA as well as those related to forums on the 193-member body’s sidelines.

Rabbani said that meeting Pence is tantamount to “disrespecting Pakistan and would be a contemptuous act”.

The Senate chairman said that Pakistan has key role in war against terrorism, noting that US supplies pass through the country before entering into Afghanistan.

“If the US president declines to meet you saying he is busy, then you should also convey to them that we too are busy,” he said.

“If Trump does not have time for Pakistan, then Pakistan is short of it as well.”

Anti-Pakistan posters in Geneva

Rabbani also sought a reply from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about steps taken over anti-Pakistan posters displayed in Geneva, Switzerland, by a banned militant outfit.

He said that posters by outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) emerged on taxis, buses and roads in Geneva, and demanded the ministry to give a policy statement in the Senate on Wednesday about steps it took pertaining to the matter.

The Senate chairman questioned as what has the government conveyed to the Swiss government regarding the issue.

He said “if the West was accusing Pakistan of allowing terrorists to use its soil, then the Swiss government was also encouraging these terrorists and separatists, who intend to break Pakistan”.

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