Friday Dec 09, 2022
WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the United States, as longstanding strategic allies, would continue to advance their shared agenda to counter-terrorism, foster regional stability, and strengthen defense ties, Pakistan Ambassador to US Masood Khan said Thursday as terror incidents rise in the country.
Masood Khan made these remarks during a special discussion on ‘The Road Ahead: US-Pakistan Relations and Regional Dynamics in 2023’, organized by the renowned US think-tank Stimson Centre in Washington.
The resurgence of terrorism requires strong security cooperation between Pakistan and the United States and the removal of any barriers that impede it, he said.
“We will expand our partnerships in the economic realm; promote trade, investment and businesses; and enhance cooperation in the energy, health, education, climate change and agriculture sectors,” he continued.
Masood Khan said the political climate is ripe for that kind of cooperation in 2023.
Sharing his thoughts on regional and international developments, Masood Khan foretold the audience that the geopolitical situation in 2023 would continue to be complex, without radically undermining existing interdependencies.
“The developments in and around Ukraine have, however, increased ambiguities and disrupted the familiar fault lines in Europe,” he said.
“We hope all nations would use strategic pragmatism to resolve problems and promote geo-economic connectivity to spur shared prosperity. Bloc politics in this day and age will imperil world peace. Above all, we must continue our quest for international rule of law and justice. We hope that nations would rather cooperate and compete, and avert conflicts, to fulfill their obligations under the UN Charter,” stated Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States.
On Pakistan’s relations with the US and China, Masood Khan said that Pakistan applauded the statesmanship demonstrated by the US and China to engage each other whenever tension arose.
“Economic codependency between them seems to be the norm.”
The ambassador said that Pakistan would not like to choose between the two countries but be a bridge, if feasible.
Stressing upon the need for composite dialogue and resolution of all issues between Pakistan and India, the ambassador warned that the absence of any dialogue or communication between India and Pakistan was hazardous.
Discussing recent calamity wrought by erratic climate change in Pakistan, the ambassador thanked Washington for its generous humanitarian assistance of $97 million for flood relief and said that "we deeply appreciate the assurances that it will be a partner in our climate-resilient, inclusive and people-centered post-flood recovery and rehabilitation strategy.”
During the discussion, Masood Khan also highlighted the strengths and existing economic opportunities in Pakistan that provided a solid base to build on the future trajectory of the Pakistan-US relationship.
“Pakistan is a nation with destiny. Given its economic coordinates and cohorts, the World Bank and Goldman Sachs, among others, see Pakistan as one of the top global economies by 2047, when it will turn 100. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has in fact projected Pakistan to become the 7th largest economy by 2030.
Goldman Sachs has in its latest research report showed Pakistan economy as the 6th largest in 2075,” said Ambassador Khan.