Pak-US is not an artificial or crafted relationship: Masood Khan

“Pakistan wishes to have strategic, political and economic ties with the United States and we are currently investing in bilateral diplomacy to achieve these goals. But it is the people of Pakistan and the United States who provide the real strength in Pakistan-US relations,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Masood Khan.

“It’s not an artificial or manufactured relationship. There is a natural ambition for this on both sides,” he continued.

Speaking at the prestigious World Affairs Council in Seattle, Masood Khan said the presence of 1 million Pakistanis in the United States, mostly professionals, was “a strong bond and a strong bond between Pakistan and the United States.”

The Ambassador thanked Ms. Jackie Miller, President and CEO of the Global Affairs Council and Mr. Nelson Dong, host partner of Dorsey and Whitney, for their warm welcome. He also thanked Ambassador Asif Chaudhry, former ambassador to the State Department and Vice President of International Programs at Washington State University, for coordinating the event.

Referring to Pakistan-US relations, Ambassador Khan emphasized that the roots of the Pakistan-US relationship were deep. He said that over the past year, the two countries have made clear their intention to continue cooperation in strategic stability, regional security and counter-terrorism. “At the same time,” he said, “we were promoting closer ties in trade, investment, agriculture, health, education and energy.”

“Climate change is a shared challenge for both the United States and Pakistan, and there is tremendous scope for expanding our relationship in building a climate-resilient infrastructure in Pakistan,” he said.

“I remain confident that Pakistan and the United States remain relevant to each other in the years to come,” he added.

Regarding bilateral economic ties and strengthening the investment climate in Pakistan, the Ambassador highlighted COVID-19, fuel and food hyperinflation and the recent devastating floods as the main debilitating factors affecting Pakistan’s economy. However, he stressed that the economic outlook in Pakistan is bright.

“The fundamentals of our economy are good. We will recover. We are part of the international economic stream”, he emphasized.
Encouraging the business community to invest in Pakistan, Masood Khan highlighted the country’s recent impressive growth in the technology sector and 64% of the youth population under the age of 30 is a valuable asset of the country.

Asked about Pakistan-India relations, the Ambassador while lamenting the absence of any communication between the two nuclear neighbors said that Pakistan was ready to talk but India preferred non-involvement in the recent past.

“We want the United States and particularly the US civil society to engage, use leverage to persuade New Delhi to engage in dialogue with Pakistan to resolve long-standing issues, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, at the negotiating table,” he said. .

Regarding Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, the Ambassador said that there is instability in bilateral relations due to hideouts of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in Afghanistan.

Masood Khan reiterated the stance of Pakistani authorities that they would not tolerate terrorism in any form against Pakistan.

The Ambassador cited inclusive government, protecting the rights of girls and women, and fighting terrorism as shared goals of both Pakistan and the United States vis-à-vis Afghanistan.

On the recent floods in Pakistan, Masood Khan said that Pakistan needs Noah’s Ark in the form of solidarity and support from the international community in the wake of the devastating, epic floods last year. He said that Pakistan is grateful to the international community for the support extended to the country at the Geneva Conference on January 9 this month. He thanked the United States for announcing US$100 million, in addition to the US$100 million already contributed for flood relief, food security and capacity building.

The Ambassador concluded his remarks by exhorting those present, both in person and physically present at the event, to have faith in Pakistan. to have faith in Pakistan-US relations and also to play their part in removing doubts about the two countries and their peoples. “Misperceptions must be replaced by genuine positive images and perceptions,” he said.