Tuesday September 27, 2022

PM stresses need to strengthen ties with US

PM Shehbaz Sharif underscored Pakistan’s desire to further develop a relationship with the US on the basis of mutual respect, trust and interest

By Our Correspondent
July 02, 2022
Ambassador of the US to Pakistan Donald Blome called on PM Shehbaz in Islamabad on July 1, 2022. Photo: PID
Ambassador of the US to Pakistan Donald Blome called on PM Shehbaz in Islamabad on July 1, 2022. Photo: PID 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday underscored Pakistan’s desire to further develop a relationship with the United States on the basis of mutual respect, trust and interest.

During a conversation with the Ambassador of the US to Pakistan Donald Blome, PM Shehbaz congratulated the envoy on his presentation of credentials and expressed the hope that he would devote his efforts to deepening and enhancing ties between the US and Pakistan.

According to a statement released in this regard, the premier recalled the depth and breadth of the Pakistan-US relationship, underscoring various dialogues established between Pakistan and the US playing a critical role in strengthening the bilateral ties in the areas of trade, investment, IT, climate change, health and energy.

“The prime minister emphasised that given Pakistan’s economic and demographic potential, US companies needed to be encouraged by the Development Finance Corporation of the US to invest in Pakistan’s large market,” the statement read.

During the conversation, he stressed the need to have the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Ministerial meeting take place later this year and also hold the business opportunities conference this year.

PM Shehbaz stressed the need to have more exchanges at a high-level between the two countries. Ambassador Blome thanked Pakistan for its prompt and effective assistance in facilitating the evacuation from Afghanistan. In this context, the prime minister emphasised that the deepening of cooperation between Pakistan and the United States would promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and contribute to averting the humanitarian crisis in that country, which had been aggravated by the recent earthquake.

While highlighting the rising wave of Islamophobia in India, PM Shehbaz condemned the sacrilegious remarks by the two BJP officials about the revered personality of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that had deeply hurt the sentiments of Muslims. The premier underlined that India was committing grave violations of human rights in the Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK). While reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to promotion of peace in the region, he stressed the importance of peaceful resolution of the IIOJK dispute.

Ambassador Blome thanked the premier for receiving him and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to further strengthen and reinforce Pakistan-US ties. Earlier Friday, the newly-appointed envoys of the United States of America (USA), Turkiye, Australia, European Union (EU), Bhutan, and Sudan presented their credentials to President Dr Arif Alvi in a ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Following the presentation of the credentials, US Ambassador Donald Armin Blome, Turkish Ambassador Dr Mehmet Pacaci, Australian High Commissioner Neil Hawkins, EU Ambassador Riina Kionka, Sudanese Ambassador Salih Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Siddig, and non-resident Ambassador of Bhutan Rinchen Kuentsyl separately called on the president.

Talking to the US ambassador, the president emphasised that a constructive and sustained engagement between the two countries on the principles of mutual respect and mutual interest was vital to promote peace, development and security in the region.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also chaired a meeting to discuss the measures for increasing information-technology (IT) related exports from the existing $2.5 billion to $15 billion. Junaid Qureshi, president of Silicon Valley, California, an organisation of Pakistani businessmen, also attended the meeting.

The PM expressed his satisfaction over the volume of IT exports and stressed the need to boost it. The meeting highlighted the role of Pakistani expatriates residing in the Silicon Valley and their contribution to the motherland. Shehbaz lauded the efforts of Junaid Qureshi and urged him to promote Pakistan’s IT sector abroad.

Junaid apprised the prime minister of the international campaign #TechDestinationPakistan and emphasised that the government’s marketing outreach was significant for increasing the IT exports. He also invited PM Shehbaz to visit the Silicon Valley and meet leaders of renowned tech companies on the sidelines of his upcoming visit to New York in September.

The meeting discussed several proposals to strengthen the IT exports in the country. Micro degree programmes and short course certificates also came under discussion for inducting youth into the IT industry.