- Masood Khan says Pakistan seeks strong ties with the United States.
- Says country actively pursuing diplomacy to boost bilateral ties.
- Says presence of Pakistani professionals in US forms a strong bond.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan said that Pakistan was eager to establish strategic, political, and economic ties with the United States. The country was currently investing in bilateral diplomacy, he said.
Pakistan is keen to have strategic, political and economic ties with the United States. Right now, we are investing in bilateral diplomacy to achieve these objectives.
Speaking at the renowned World Affairs Council in Seattle, he said that the two countries enjoy a natural and aspirational relationship, not a fabricated or artificial one.
He said that the presence of one million Pakistanis in the United States, comprising mostly of professionals, was ‘a strong bond and an abiding link between Pakistan and the United States.
Dilating upon the Pak-US relations, the ambassador emphasized that the roots of the Pak-US relationship are deep. During the past year, the two countries have clarified their intent to continue their cooperation in strategic stability, regional security and counterterrorism, he stressed.
He said that the two countries were promoting closer ties in trade, investment, agriculture, health, education and energy sectors.
The ambassador highlighted COVID-19, fuel and food hyperinflation and the recent devastating floods as the major debilitating factors that affected Pakistan’s economy.
Encouraging the business community to invest in Pakistan, Masood Khan highlighted the recent impressive growth of the country in the tech sector. He also highlighted 64% of the youth population below the age of 30 as a valuable asset of the country.
Replying to a question about the Pak-India relations, he said that Pakistan is ready to talk but India has preferred non-engagement in the recent past. He said we want the United States and particularly the US civil society to get involved, use its leverage to persuade New Delhi into a dialogue with Pakistan for resolving long-standing issues, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, on a negotiating table.
Commenting on the Pak-Afghan relations, the ambassador said that there was volatility in bilateral relations owing to hideouts of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan. He cited inclusive government, protection of rights of girls and women and counter-terrorism as shared objectives of both Pakistan and the United States vis-à-vis Afghanistan.
Masood Khan reiterated Pakistan’s principled stance that it would not tolerate terrorism in any form against Pakistan.
He thanked the United States for announcing $100mln, in addition to $100mln already contributed for flood response, food security and capacity building.