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Ties with US be based on mutual understanding: Moeed Yousuf

January 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Laying out a new vision of Pakistan’s engagement with the Biden administration, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Security Dr Moeed Yousuf has said the government wants to pursue bilateral relationship with the US that is not clouded by US interests in other regional countries but is based on mutual understanding.

Dr Moeed was addressing a gathering of US policy makers at the Washington-based think-tank Wilson Center titled “US-Pakistan Relations in the Biden Era”. “In the past, Pakistan was unfortunately seen by Afghanistan prism,” he said, emphasizing that the world has undergone immense transformation in the past four years and the new administration should look beyond Obama-era conversation to build a truly bilateral relation with Pakistan. He told the participants that now they are dealing with a different Pakistan; a Pakistan which is self-confident and whose formal vision is squarely based on economic security paradigm.

“Pakistan is talking about becoming a geo-economic melting pot that is ready to consolidate global positive interest in our territory. We are talking about providing the world with economic bases, not military bases,” he said. Elaborating Pakistan’s vision, he said Pakistan’s focus is on connectivity, the CPEC is an obvious example of it.

This is the reason that Pakistan desires peace and stability in Afghanistan for westward connectivity. Furthermore, Pakistan is looking for development partnerships.

He noted that all Western multinational companies in Pakistan earned profits well above their global average, demonstrating that Pakistan remains a lucrative market for foreign companies. “How about having US reprocessing zones? Expanding the ROZs? Having US-China co-investments in regional connectivity? Pakistan of today is different,” said the SAPM “Terrorism in Pakistan is negligible, we have turned the corner,” he stated. While delving into regional peace, he said: “We are dealing with a different India; an India which is intolerant, has serious internal tensions and human rights concerns and is taking unilateral decisions, including in IHK. India is destabilizing the region and becoming a liability on anyone dealing with it, including the US, he said.

Pakistan wishes to achieve a peaceful region where international obligations are met by all countries. He emphasized that the Biden administration and Pakistan could work closely on important global challenges such as climate change – a priority area for both the Biden administration and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. He emphasized that there are opportunities for Pakistan to work with the US on regional diplomacy in Afghanistan, the Middle East and elsewhere to decrease global tensions and restore the multilateral system.

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