ISLAMABAD   -     Prime Minister Imran Khan will invite US President to visit Pakistan when he meets the American leader in Washington on July 22.

Senior officials at the Foreign Ministry told The Nation on Friday that the PM wanted Trump to visit Pakistan to defuse the trust deficit.

“The trust level (between Pakistan and the US) has been improving and Imran Khan believes it will get a boost with Trump’s visit. This (the invitation for the visit) will not be a formality. The PM will give him (Trump) reasons why his visit holds significance,” said one official.

Another official said the PM will assure Trump that Pakistan wanted to work with the US for peace in Afghanistan and the region.

“Pakistan will also convey its commitment to peace with India and will urge the US to play a role for resolution of the Kashmir issue which is vital to stability in South Asia,” he maintained.

PM Khan will travel to Washington to meet President Trump on July 22 - a rare visit between leaders of the sometimes prickly allies. The visit – PM Khan’s first to the US since coming to power last year - came at Trump’s invitation.

The focus will be to refresh the bilateral relationship,” said Foreign office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal.

The announcement came as the US is seeking Pakistan’s help in finding a way out of neighbouring Afghanistan, where American forces are now in their 18th year of war.

The Pak-US relationship has always been bumpy and Trump has angered Pakistani officials in the past with his aggressive language.

The White House accuses that Pakistan has long helped fund and arm the Taliban. This charge is categorically denied by Pakistan.

Last year, Trump had declared he had cancelled assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars because Islamabad does not do “a damn thing” for the US.

PM Khan hit back at the criticism on Twitter, calling on the US President to name an ally that has sacrificed more against militancy.

Islamabad takes credit for facilitating an ongoing direct peace dialogue between Washington and Taliban to promote a negotiated end to the Afghan war. The talks began nearly a year ago and a new round is under way in Qatar.

Both Taliban and American negotiators say they have come close to finalizing a draft text that could pave the way for ending the longest overseas US military intervention.

This week FO spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said Pakistan had played a pivotal role in facilitating and taking forward the Afghan peace process.

About the possible meeting between Afghan Taliban leaders and PM Khan, Faisal said: “I cannot comment on the visit of Afghan leaders to Pakistan. However, Pakistan has played a pivotal role in the Afghanistan peace process. We are doing this in good faith and as a shared responsibility. The ultimate decision regarding political settlement is in the hands of Afghan people. Pakistan would continue stressing the need for an Afghan-led and an Afghan-owned peace process. We hope that these talks could ultimately lead to the result oriented intra-Afghan dialogue.”

Faisal said during recent visit of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to adopt a forward-looking approach and to strengthen ties in all areas of mutual interest, including political, trade, economic and investment, cultural and educational spheres.