Pakistan, US ties improving: Amb Asad Majeed Khan

Clifford welcomed the ambassador and highlighted that this year marks the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the United States.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan Thursday said over the past one year, a healthy momentum had been generated in laying down a foundation for structured and institutionalized bilateral dialogue processes in a number of areas of mutual interest.

World Affairs Council of America (WACA) hosted Ambassador Asad M. Khan for a virtual conversation here. CEO and President of WACA Bill Clifford moderated the event.

Clifford welcomed the ambassador and highlighted that this year marks the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the United States.

During the conversation, ambassador Khan said that Pakistan and the U.S. were important allies and partners. On situation in Afghanistan, the ambassador said that it remained a priority and principal concern for both the U.S. and Pakistan.

Humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was a ticking time bomb. However, humanitarian assistance alone would not work in Afghanistan. Helping Afghanistan’s economy getting back on its feet was essential for ensuring long term sustainable peace.

While Pakistan was playing its role in this regard, it was important for the international community to respond in a collective, effective and timely manner to ward off economic meltdown in Afghanistan that could ultimately result in refugee crisis, re-emergence of terrorism and narco-traffic in the region.

On Pakistan-India relations, the ambassador said that Pakistan had made several peace overtures but none of those gestures were reciprocated by India

Unfortunately, Pakistan bashing had become part of India’s internal political discourse and the BJP government was ever willing to use this ploy to prop up its domestic approval ratings.

On the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu &Kashmir (IIOJ&K), the ambassador said that Indian occupation forces were continuing their reign of state sanctioned terror in IIOJK. Despite continued Indian atrocities, the Kashmiris had rejected India’s unilateral and illegal actions of August 5, 2019. Kashmiris were more determined today than never before in fighting for their right to self-determination promised to them by the UNSC resolutions, he added.

The ambassador underscored the government’s pivot to geo-economics and making economic development, regional connectivity and people-centric growth the cornerstones of Pakistan’s foreign and national security policies, he added.

He highlighted that despite the pandemic, Pakistan had achieved a better than projected economic growth and the International Financial Institutions had expressed satisfaction on our performance.

On the question of religious freedom in Pakistan, the ambassador said that this was an area of high priority for the leadership and the government was committed to ensuring the rights of minorities and promoting interfaith harmony in the country. The event was widely attended by members of WACA from across the world.

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