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US visit may leave Nawaz Sharif embarrassed

Karachi, Oct 20 : Observers and analysts in Washington said that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States could turn out to be an embarrassment for him.

According to The News International, Sharif may not be in a position to say much to the US.

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, who flew back to Islamabad on Sunday morning from Washington, must have discussed the latest US proposals about a nuclear deal and must have conveyed Islamabad’s response as well, a very influential former Pakistani diplomat in New York said.

Sharif had to delay his departure for the US to receive Akhtar’s feedback. There was no official comment or even any mention of Akhtar’s visit by either Pakistan or the US.

Pakistan’s former permanent representative to the UN, Munir Akram had earlier said his experience showed that issues raised by the Americans must have already been responded to by the Pakistani side, and he was surprised as to why Washington was still pressing to discuss these matters during Sharif’s visit.

Washington wants Islamabad to act more forcefully against the Haqqani Network, halt Pakistan’s long and short-range missile programmes and fissile material production and act decisively against the Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to Akram.

US reports say that the Obama administration is trying to persuade Pakistan to sign a nuclear deal, which will enable Islamabad to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group if it agrees to accept certain restrictions on its nuclear programme.

Akram said the US deal amounts to asking Pakistan to compromise on its national security in exchange for a good chit from Washington.

He had also said that Sharif should postpone his visit as it could become a big embarrassment both for Pakistan and the US.

Keeping such developments in view, Sharif’s US visit has already been cut short by three days. (ANI)