Saturday July 20, 2024

Pakistan envoy seeks result-oriented dialogue between Pakistan, India

Masood Khan says there hasn’t been any structured dialogue between neighbouring countries since 2014

By Web Desk
June 14, 2024
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan. —World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/ File
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan. —World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/ File

WASHINGTON: Underscoring the need to have a result-oriented structured dialogue between Pakistan and India, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan has said the neighbouring countries should create that kind of atmosphere for talking to each other.

He made these remarks addressing a gathering at World Affairs Council of Philadelphia on Thursday.

On Pak-India relations, the ambassador told the gathering that there hasn’t been any structured dialogue between the two countries since 2014. 

Pointing out strategic imbalance in South Asia and US tilt towards India, Khan urged the US government to follow a balanced approach. “US heavy tilt towards India is accentuating strategic imbalance which is fraught with serious risks,” he said.

The ambassador also emphasised on full restoration of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and assistance to fight continued threats from terrorists. 

On this occasion, Khan gave a detailed perspective on Pak-US relations, war on terror, re-calibration of Pak-US relationship post withdrawal period, Pakistan-India relations and the issues of regional stability. The ambassador especially focused on highlighting existing investment and trade opportunities between Pakistan and the United States that provided new sinews to the relationship.

Ambassador seeks boost in investment

He asked the American companies to boost their investment portfolios, particularly in tech startups, renewable energy, agriculture and extractive industries in Pakistan.

The ambassador said this while highlighting the existing potential of Pakistan and bright future prospects. 

Ambassador Khan offered US companies to manufacture in Pakistan, where they could find 240 million consumers.

“Pakistan is a big market for American manufacturers. If you manufacture state of the art products, you have 240 million consumers in Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan willing to act as bridge between US, China 

Referring to the historic role played by Pakistan in bringing China and US closer to each other in early 70s, Khan said Pakistan was willing to play the role of economic bridge between the two countries in the present age.

The Pakistani envoy reiterated Pakistan’s relations with China were not at the expense of its ties with the US.

Khan wants strengthened economic partnership

Adding his perspective to the most recent collaboration of the two countries in war against terror, Khan said, “Pakistan was blamed at times for the Mission failure. Although, I personally believe that we have accomplished a lot in the war against terrorism. We collaborated and together we broke the backbone of terrorist organisations. Al-Qaeda is not where it was in 2001-02. There is awareness all around the world about the asymmetric threat of terrorism to international civilisation and how to tackle it."

He said that in late 2021 and early 2022, the leadership of Pakistan and US decided to recalibrate their relationship. They decided that “while we will continue our cooperation in counter terrorism, promote regional stability, maintain a dialogue, we would like to secure the region from any nuclear instability and so on.”

“But at the same time, we would try to invest our time and energy in strengthening economic partnership between Pakistan and the United States,” he continued.

“And we have been succeeding in the areas of trade and investment, renewable energy, green technologies, combating climate change, health care, education and others,” he observed.

“When I came here in 2022, the number of Pak students in American universities was 7,000. Now it is more than 10,000,” he said. 

He also highlighted renewal of agreement between the two countries for cooperation in science and technology.

“We are investing in people centered diplomacy so that there are more exchanges of students, academics and entrepreneurs and tech entrepreneurs in particular,” he said.

Referring to some most recent initiatives, especially the Green Alliance, the Ambassador also paid compliments to the efforts of the US ambassador in Pakistan for his proactive approach in promoting cooperation and fostering greater understanding between the two countries.

“Ambassador Donald Blome has been a good partner and a good ambassador in promoting Pak-US relations,” Khan said.

On situation in Middle East, the ambassador opined that the US should demonstrate its leadership and assert itself.