Thursday March 30, 2023

US values long-term ties with Pakistan: Blome

This year marks 75 years of bilateral relations between the United States and Pakistan, says Blome

By Our Correspondent
August 12, 2022
US Ambassador Donald Blome visited mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. —US Consulate Karachi/ Twitter
US Ambassador Donald Blome visited mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. —US Consulate Karachi/ Twitter 

KARACHI: US Ambassador Donald Blome has said that his country shares Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a Pakistan at peace with itself and its neighbours, a Pakistan of religious tolerance, economic prosperity and social inclusion.

During his visit to the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on Thursday, he offered Pakistan congratulations on its 75th Independence Day on behalf of the American people, and said that it was a great honour for him to be at the Mazar-e-Quaid to pay respects and commemorate his legacy.

He laid a floral wreath at the mausoleum and signed the guestbook on behalf of the US Embassy in Islamabad. Later, he visited the mausoleums of Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, and Fatima Jinnah, Jinnah’s sister. He toured the adjoining museum and admired the artefacts related to the life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Blome said, “This year marks 75 years of bilateral relations between the United States and Pakistan. The United States values our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as critical to the US interests. 

We support strengthening economic ties between our two countries by expanding private sector trade and investment, which benefits both countries. Examples of our long-standing cooperation include the US donation of more than 77 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan, including 16 million paediatric vaccines recently pledged in Washington. 

This contribution is part of our ongoing solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they confront this devastating pandemic and is among the largest donations from the United States to any country worldwide.

“In addition to vaccine doses, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government has provided nearly $70.4 million in direct support and $13.8 million in in-kind support to assist the Pakistani people in the fight against COVID-19. An additional $20 million in USAID funding is also planned to support vaccination efforts in Pakistan.

“Our trade relationship with Pakistan has helped both Pakistani industries and consumers. The United States continues to be Pakistan’s top single country export destination. Also, in the last fiscal year alone, US direct investment in Pakistan increased by 50 percent, and is now the highest it has been in over a decade. US agricultural exports to Pakistan have grown from $287 million in 2014 to $1.3 billion in 2021.

“In 2021, US firms planted more than 600,000 trees in Pakistan to combat climate change and support climate adaptation measures. In 2022, the US Mission to Pakistan collaborated with the Houston-Karachi Sister City Association to plant an additional 10,000 trees in Pakistan.

“The United States has supported the addition of more than 4,000MW of clean energy capacity in Pakistan, enough power for more than 47 million Pakistanis. US firms are already making significant investments to help Pakistan provide expanded access to a cleaner, more resilient energy supply. General Electric turbines and equipment are widely used in Pakistan, including wind-powered turbines that increase Pakistan’s renewable energy generation capacity.”