Pakistan wants broad-based, not transactional relationship with US: Ambassador

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WASHINGTON, May 16 (APP): Describing Pakistan-US relationship as “tremendously important” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Chaudhry has said that Pakistan sought to have a broad-based, sustainable relationship with the United States.
“Whenever Pakistan and the US worked together in the past, both the countries benefited and it had yielded positive results,” the ambassador said, adding that Pakistan was looking for sustainable and not a transactional relationship.
He made these remarks while addressing at the Ambassador Series Program organized by the World Affairs Council.
Responding to a question on Afghanistan, he said “peace in
Afghanistan is our top priority and a stable, prosperous and developed Afghanistan is not only in the favour of Pakistan but the entire region.”
Pakistan wanted systematic border management along Pak-Afghan border in
order to check the cross border movement of miscreants effectively, he added.
The Ambassador observed that the US had made massive investment in Afghanistan over the years and would be interested in taking it to its logical conclusion.
The first and foremost goal of the US in Afghanistan must be to strengthen Afghan National Security forces, he added.
The Ambassador pointed out that there was a tendency to put blame on Pakistan for failure in Afghanistan which was not true, adding that Afghanistan had multiple problems which was not related to terrorism only.
“Pakistan cannot be made a scapegoat,” he said and reiterated that it firmly believed that a comprehensive approach was required to find an amicable solution of the Afghan problem.
“There is no military solution to the Afghanistan issue. A comprehensive political strategy is required.”
Ambassador Chaudhry reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to eliminating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
He clarified that Pakistan would never allow its soil to be used against any other country and expected that no other country would allow anyone to operate from there against Pakistan.
While responding a question related to Pak-India relations, Ambassador Chaudhry said that India had suspended the dialogue process which did not serve any purpose and had further deteriorated the bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said that terrorism was a common enemy and both countries should cooperate with each other.
“Pakistan is ready for a dialogue with India whenever it is ready,” he said.
On the lingering issue of Kashmir, the Ambassador stated that Pakistan would continue to support innocent Kashmiris diplomatically, morally and politically.
“India is using force and committing horrendous human rights violations, which breeds hatred among Kashmiris against Indian occupation forces. Indian Occupation forces have blinded approx. 1000 Kashmiris by using pellet guns.”
Commenting upon CPEC and One Belt, One Road Chinese initiative, he remarked that Pakistan’s good relations with China were not a zero sum game for any other country including the US.
“Pakistan wants to have a broad-based, mutually beneficial relationship with China and the US at the same time,” he added.
He said that Pakistan and the US had had historic relations spanning over seven decades and bilateral relations between the Pakistan and the US were tremendously important.
The US is Pakistan’s largest trading partner and the two countries enjoy deeper relations with each other in the fields such as Education, Health, Counter Terrorism and Defense.
Almost 50,000 Pakistani physicians are working in the US at the moment. A million plus Pakistani diaspora in the US is a big asset and is working as a bridge between the two countries.
The Ambassador underscored that there was a need to enhance cooperation in those areas which were lagging behind.
Aizaz Chaudhry apprised the audience about the tremendous economic turnaround witnessed by Pakistan in recent years and said that perceptions about Pakistan were lagging behind the reality of today’s Pakistan.
Due to remarkable improvement in law and order situation, all economic fundamentals were moving upwards in Pakistan he said adding the terrorist incidents had reduced significantly which was having salutary effect the country’s economy.
The International Credit agencies have upgraded credit rating of Pakistan from “Negative” to “Stable” and from “Stable” to “Positive” which is a complete break with the past. Pakistan Stock Exchange has emerged as fifth high performer in the World and has crossed 52000 index points which is all time high record in the history of Pakistan.