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Tuesday May 28, 2024

'Together we'll forge a strong, close-knit partnership': US stands with Pakistan, says Biden

US president also doubles down on commitment to support Islamabad in its efforts for recovery from economic losses of floods

By Muhammad Anis & Wajid Ali Syed 
March 30, 2024
US President Joe Biden (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. — AFP/File
US President Joe Biden (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON/ISLAMABAD: US President Joe Biden Friday sent a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif pledging to stand with Pakistan to tackle the pressing global and regional challenges.

The letter marks the first official and direct communication with the Pakistani leadership during his presidency.

Shehbaz’s predecessor, Imran Khan, had voiced his frustration over not getting any phone call from Biden, which turned into a huge controversy in Pakistan.

Khan was later removed through a vote of no-confidence, but he had openly accused the US of orchestrating his downfall.

Shehbaz became the premier for the second time earlier this month after the countrywide general election in February.

Though, as has been a tradition, it was expected that the US administration would send out a congratulatory message to the new prime minister after he formed the government, Biden’s letter did not mention any such expression.

The letter, however, underscored the enduring support of the United States and stressed the crucial role of the bilateral relationship for both regional and global issues. “The enduring partnership between our nations remains critical to ensuring the security of our people - and people around the world - and the United States will continue to stand with Pakistan to tackle the most pressing global and regional challenges of our time,” the letter said.

The letter did not address the shared concerns about terrorism directly. Yet, it prioritized the American support to Pakistan by “advancing our shared vision for a future of greater health security, economic growth, and access to education for all.”

It said through US-Pakistan “Green Alliance” framework, “we will also continue to strengthen our climate resilience, support sustainable agriculture and water management, and assist with Pakistan’s recovery from the devastating floods in 2022,” and added that the US remained committed to working with Pakistan to protect human rights and promote progress.

“Together, we will continue to forge a strong partnership between our nations, and close bond between our people,” it concluded.