time Friday Jan 22 2021
Web Desk

Pakistan looking for strong trade, investment ties with US: Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan

Web Desk
Pakistan's Ambassador to US Asad Majeed Khan. File photo
  • Asad Majed Khan says there is no question of ‘do more’ or ‘do less’ for us now.
  • General Lloyd Austin says Pakistan is an important partner in peace in Afghanistan.
  • FM Qureshi expresses confidence that Joe Biden as an “old friend to Pakistan” would work towards strengthening ties.

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is looking for strong bilateral trade and investment ties with the US under the new administration of President Joe Biden, country's envoy to Washington Asad Majeed Khan said on Friday.

Talking to Geo News, Asad Majeed said Islamabad and Washington are working together for peace in Afghanistan along with other nations. "The US also wanted that the Afghan soil is not used against any other country."

The comments from the envoy came after Joe Biden took oath as the 46th president of the united states after four tumulous years of Donald Trump.

Read more: Biden administration looks to strengthen US-Pakistan military ties

"There is no question of ‘do more’ or ‘do less’ for us now, taking the right steps is the need of the hour," the envoy said. He noted that the new US administration would realise Pakistan's efforts when it comes to know about the ground realities.

"Pakistan is not looking for assistance are aid but strong trade and investment relationship," Asad Majeed stressed.

Pakistan key to peace in Afghanistan

Meanwhile, Biden’s nominated defence secretary General Lloyd J Austin has termed Pakistan an important partner in peace and maintained that the US looking to revive military ties with the country.

"If confirmed, I will encourage a regional approach that garners support from neighbours like Pakistan, while also deterring regional actors, from serving as spoilers to the Afghanistan peace process," he said during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Read more: No US administration can ignore Pakistan, says Qureshi

The former US general said he would focus on shared interests including training future Pakistan military leaders through the use of International Military Education and Training (IMET) funds.

‘Ready to engage with US’

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan was ready to engage with the new administration, considering it an “opportunity to build a long-term, broad-based and multidimensional relationship”.

“Such partnership would require an institutionalized and structured engagement, based on mutual respect and cooperation,” the Foreign Minister said at a webinar on Pakistan’s priorities with the Biden administration, organized by Karachi Council on Foreign Relations earlier this week.

FM Qureshi expressed confidence that Joe Biden as an “old friend to Pakistan” would work towards strengthening ties between the two countries.

Read more: Joe Biden takes office, reverses Trump era’s Muslim ban

He said already exchange of messages had taken place between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the US president, who expressed interest of working with Pakistan on issues of common interests.

“Our historic ties can reset as Pakistan and US must share an understanding to deal with challenges of present for a better tomorrow,” he said.

Qureshi said the two countries needed to work in confronting challenges in the wake of the pandemic, global economic slowdown, climate change and erosion of multilateralism.

He said the US must continue to count on Pakistan as a partner for peace in Afghanistan where other actors did not share the same vision and played the role of “spoilers”.