Pakistan wants long-term engagement with US: Dr Asad

By: News Desk
Published: 09:02 PM, 22 Jan, 2022
Pakistan wants long-term engagement with US: Dr Asad
Caption: Ambassador Dr Asad Majeed Khan participated in a discussion forum on Pakistan-US relations co-hosted by the American Association of Foreign Services Worldwide and Diplomatic and Counselor officers retired in Washington DC.
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The American Association of Foreign Services Worldwide (AASFW) along with Diplomatic and Counselor officers retired (DACOR) hosted Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan for a discussion on “US-Pakistan Relations”.

John Bradshaw, Executive Director of DACOR and the DACOR Bacon House Foundation, moderated the event. In his welcoming remarks he highlighted that today’s discussion is highly important as this year is the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and the US.

In his remarks, Ambassador Khan reflected that our engagement with the US has often been narrowly framed, dictated either by short-term security interests or the imperative to deal with a common challenge. We want to break out of this pattern. Now that the U.S. military mission is over, we want to take our relationship beyond counterterrorism and Afghanistan, which of course would remain priorities. For Pakistan, the United States remains an important partner. The United States is still our largest export market and a major source of foreign remittances. There is a cultural affinity between the United States and Pakistan, which is one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world. Talented young Pakistanis continue to gravitate towards American college campuses and Silicon Valley incubators. We have a large and politically engaged Pakistani American community that is a bridge between our two countries.

In short, he added that we have all the ingredients in place to build a more substantive and a broad-based relationship that is anchored in trade, investment, and people-to-people linkages. As Pakistan shifts its focus towards geoeconomics, we want to re-leverage our connectivity infrastructure to enhance regional trade and economic integration. We see the United States as an important partner in this regard. Sitting at the crossroads of South and Central Asia, Pakistan is a market of over 220 million people, with a growing middle class. Pakistan’s young, but exciting, startup tech culture showcases our promising untapped investment potential.

With the government’s climate-friendly energy policies that are now tremendous—they offer tremendous opportunities for U.S. companies that specialize in renewable and clean energy. An economically strong Pakistan can be an anchor for stability in a region that has suffered through forty years of war in Afghanistan. Pakistan can work with the United States through the Development Financial Corporation to generate economic activity along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. This could, in turn, help the Afghan people rebuild their war-ravaged country.

On India-Pakistan relations, the Ambassador stressed that in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision and focus on a citizen-centric prosperous Country, Pakistan desired peaceful relations with all countries, including India. However, the fascist policies of the BJP Government and rising extremism in India threatened regional peace and stability. Pakistan wants a peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute but after the Indian illegal actions of 5 august 2019 in IIOJK, the onus remains on India to create a conducive environment for dialogue.

Highlighting the continuing Indian atrocities and human rights violations in IIOJK, he urged the need for the international community to play its role in upholding the human rights charter in IIOJK and stressed the need for resolution of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiris.

In the end, a series of questions from the audience were answered by the Ambassador.

Categories : Pakistan