Time: 2:51 p.m. CEST
President Barack Obama will meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tomorrow, as the White House office of the press secretary announced. As the announcement said, the President will share the common interest for a stabile, secure and prosperous Pakistan. The topics for October 22, 2015 meeting will include topics from economy, trade, climate change, nuclear security, counterrorism, and regional stability.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest did not give comprehensive preview on the upcoming discussion on Thursday. But, while answering upon the question on the visit at the news briefing on Tuesday Earnest stated that, “the U.S. has important security relations with Pakistan,” and that “our security forces has been able in a variety ways to effectively coordinate our efforts and enhance the national security, both for the U.S. and Pakistan.”
The situation in previous years in Pakistan revealed that there are extremists elements inside Pakistan that have committed terrible acts of violence. According to Earnest, it is clear that Pakistan’s government recognizes the importance of the reconciliation talks between the Afghan and Taliban and stated that, “one of the early rounds of reconciliation talks between the Afghan and Taliban was hosted by Pakistan,” referring to the talks that started on July 8, 2015 in Murree.
On Monday, Earnest stated that the talks could include and the changed situation in Afghanistan after the announcement that the President made last week about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
On October 15, President Obama who ended the combat mission of American troops last December decided that the remaining about 10.000 American troops would remain in Afghanistan through out 2016 and possibly in early 2017. ”Their mission will not change, out troops will continue to pursue two narrow tasks, training Afghan forces and going after al-Qaida. But, maintaining our current posture through next year rather than more rapid draw down will allow to sustain our efforts to train and assist Afghan forces as they grow stronger,” Obama said last week.
US Offer for Civil Nuclear Deal?
Despite those issues Earnest neither confirmed, or denied any possibility that President Obama and Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif to talk on the nuclear security in the region. The online edition of Dawn.com wrote on October 8, that, “the United States is exploring an option that could pave the way for a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan, like the one concluded with India in 2005, according to a report published in the Washington Post.”
“The issue is being discussed quietly in the run-up to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington on Oct 22,” said leading columnist David Ignatius in an article he wrote for the Post. Dawn.com further explained, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington, Jalil Abbas Jilani, emphasized the “defensive” nature of his country’s nuclear programme when asked for comments on the Post report. “Pakistan’s nuclear programme is determined by our legitimate security concerns and Pakistan would never compromise on its national security,” he told Dawn. “Pakistan’s nuclear programme is for defensive purposes only.” The Post report claimed that the proposed deal could place new limits and controls on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal in return for “a version of the civil nuclear deal”.
Moreover, Pakistan also has an issues with the Taliban after they took responsibility for several of the most recent attacks this and last year. Militants attacked Pakistan Air Force base in Badhaber area on the outskirts of Peshawar on September 18 and 13 militants died in the clearance operation. in an email to the media in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Khorosan group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for a brazen terrorist assault on Karachi’s airport old terminal on June 9 2015. On March 15, Pakistani city of Lahore experienced on Sunday two blasts neat the churches in a Christian neighborhood, BBC News reports. At least 14 people died in the two bomb blasts. Despite the casualties, BBC News also reports, “more than 70 people were hurt in the explosions, which targeted worshipers attending Sunday mass at the churches in the Youhababad area.”
On February 13, 2015 Taliban militants have attacked worshipers at a Shia mosque in Peshawar, as BBC News reported. In the attack, 20 people died. In a similar attack on a Shia mosque in Sindh province’s Shikarpur district left more than 60 people dead.
On December 19, 2014 The Associated Press reported that a Pakistani military spokesman said 141 people died in the attack on school, and that 132 children and nine staff members died. More than 100 people, among them mostly children died when militants took students and teachers as hostages on in the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. As media in Pakistan wrote, “Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, TTP claimed the attack.”
In 2013, at least 80 people were killed by bombers at a church in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, in what is thought to be the deadliest ever attack on the country’s Christians. Two percent of the population in Pakistan is Christians.