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US seeks economic revival plan from PTI

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ISLAMABAD:
Notwithstanding its public posturing against the United States, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is making behind-the-scene efforts to repair ties with Washington as the former ruling party has not only abandoned its anti-US narrative but has also discussed its future plans to pull the country out of the economic abyss with the world’s super power.

The first sign that PTI chief Imran Khan’s party was no longer seeking to further antagonise the US, rather wanted rapprochement, was a meeting between a visiting US delegation led by US Department of State Counsellor Derek Chollet with PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday night.

Chollet, being US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken’s point man, is visiting Islamabad as part of a renewed push by the two countries to expand their cooperation beyond security and Afghanistan.

Since Imran’s ouster in April last year, this was the first publicly admitted meeting between the two sides, which came on the heels of PTI chief’s narrative makeover of the alleged regime-change conspiracy after months-long bashing of the US and its officials.

During the meeting, sources privy to the development revealed that the US officials asked the PTI to share its economic revival plan amid an ongoing financial crunch coupled with political volatility.

As the PTI tried to restore relations by assuring that it would abandon the anti-US narrative in the future, they added, the officials of the Biden administration sought the PTI’s stance on the government’s understanding that it reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The sources revealed that a meeting was expected between the US officials and the PTI’s economic team in the coming days to discuss the matters further.

Following the meeting with the economic team, they said, a meeting could also take place between the US officials and PTI chief Imran.

They said that Clinton White, the counsellor of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Elizabeth Horst, the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the State Department, Donald Blome, the US ambassador to Pakistan, among other senior officials were in attendance.

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