Wednesday June 29, 2022

Pakistan, US both want to boost ties: Bilawal

Bilawal said the sustained engagement with the US Congress was essential for giving support to Pakistan-US ties, which had stood the test of time

By News Desk
May 20, 2022
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Photo: The News/File
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Photo: The News/File 

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday said that Pakistan and the United States had mutual desire to further strengthen their partnership and promote frequent exchanges between the lawmakers of the two countries.

In his conversation with Congressman Ami Bera, Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Asia and the Pacific, the foreign minister said that sustained engagement with the US Congress was essential for giving support to Pakistan-US ties, which had stood the test of time.

Congressman Ami Bera appreciated the foreign minister’s proactive outreach to enhance Pakistan-US relations and thanked Pakistan for facilitating evacuations from Afghanistan. He said that a stable Afghanistan was in the mutual interest of both the United States and Pakistan.

The foreign minister highlighted the urgency of addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The foreign minister said that the recent reengagement had opened new doors for broad-based relationship especially in the areas of trade and investment, educational and people to people contacts as well as enhanced parliamentary exchanges.

The foreign minister thanked Congressman Ami Bera for his keen interest in forging closer ties between the United States and Pakistan and the evolving situation in Afghanistan. He thanked Ami Bera's recent visit to Pakistan which, he said, was a good confidence-building measure.

The foreign minister and the congressman agreed on the need for both sides to continue engagement. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, meanwhile, said that Pakistan had the potential to not only meet its own food security needs but also that of the region and the world, a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

Bilawal participated in the ministerial meeting on the "Global Food Security Call to Action" in New York, United States, today. The foreign minister said that despite limited resources, Pakistan had never shirked its responsibility in times of a humanitarian crisis. Pakistan was playing a leadership role in advocating for humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan and had provided humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as well as Ukraine.

He said that Pakistan was suffering from the vestiges of colonialism, turbulent history, constant quest to improve democracy, and has been caught in the cross-hairs of global geopolitics. Therefore, it had been unable to unlock its agricultural and economic potential.

"Pakistan faced existential threats of climate change, COVID-19 pandemic, and poverty, which resulted in food, water, and energy insecurity," added Bilawal. In his statement, the foreign minister lauded the initiative to unite and mobilise the international community to respond to the urgent food security and nutrition challenges being faced by the world, which had been further aggravated by the recent geopolitical developments.

Welcoming the "Roadmap for Global Food Security" presented at the ministerial meeting, the PPP chairman expressed the hope that the initiative would not only motivate countries with resources but also provide assurances to those who face challenges due to resource constraints.

Bilawal added that hunger has no nationality, poverty does not care for skin colour, infections do not recognise borders, and the threat of climate catastrophe does not recognise ethnicity and underscored that wars aggravated the challenges of poverty and hunger, and created a humanitarian crisis in their wake.

Emphasising the importance of dialogue and diplomacy to resolve disputes peacefully, the foreign minister stressed that the new generation looked up to the world leaders to unite to overcome these challenges and to ensure that vaccines and healthcare are a right and not a privilege.

The foreign minister said that his generation was looking toward the United Nations to deliver the peace it was promised, and the peace it deserves. The ministerial meeting was convened by the United States to mobilise action around the key objectives of addressing and mitigating the impacts of the global food security crisis. Chaired by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, it brought together a regionally diverse group of countries to evolve a shared vision for confronting global food security challenges.