Pakistan

US urges Pakistan to 'prioritise, expand economic reforms' to address challenges

State department says Pakistan remains an “important partner” of the US in a number of areas

Web Desk
April 19, 2024
State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel addresses a presser in Washington on Thursday, January 25, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — State Department/Website
State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel addresses a presser in Washington on Thursday, January 25, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — State Department/Website

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday urged Pakistan to “prioritise and expand economic reforms” so it can address the “economic challenges” confronting the country.

As per State Department's Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel, this was communicated to Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb during his meeting with Assistant Secretary Donald Lu and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst.

“During the meetings from our end, we encouraged Pakistan to prioritise and expand economic reforms, to address its own economic challenges,” said Patel in a press briefing.

The State Department official also noted that Pakistan remains an “important partner” of the US in a number of areas.

“Particularly, it’s a country we have an immense security cooperation with, and we of course are looking to continue to collaborate and work with the Government of Pakistan,” said Patel.

To a question on whether the US sees Pakistani leadership capable of making “decisions” in Washington’s interest, Patel responded that “partnership” with Pakistan, irrespective of any government in Islamabad, is “rooted in what is of course in the interest of the American people and the people of Pakistan, and governments that are committed to working for the people of Pakistan”.

The questions regarding Pakistan came up when Patel was asked about Finance Minister Aurangzeb’s presence in the US capital.

Aurangzeb, who is currently in Washington to hold negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new bailout package and attend World Bank meetings, has also held talks with senior US officials.

In his meeting with Lu and Horst, Aurangzeb explored broadening the tax base, energy sector streamlining, and privatisation during a huddle at the World Bank headquarters.

The two sides focused on upgrading economic partnerships, with emphasis on alternate energy, agriculture, climate resilience and tech industry.

The minister identified American investment opportunities in information technology, renewables, agriculture and minerals extraction.


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