Washington DC, February 19, 2021
Ambassador of Pakistan to US, Dr Asad Majeed Khan held a virtual webinar with Stimson Center on “The Future of US-Pak Relation amidst Geopolitical Churn”.
Ambassador Khan said that the Biden administration would now be dealing with a new and transformed Pakistan. The internal security situation had improved vastly, and the Government’s priority was to focus on geo-economics rather than geo-strategy. He highlighted Pakistan’s immense economic potential as a regional trade and infrastructure connectivity hub and a market of 220 million people. In this context, the travel advisories by some countries did not reflect the ground realities and needed to be withdrawn.
Ambassador Khan called for a stand-alone and broad-based partnership between Pakistan and the US, with trade, investment and economic cooperation as new anchors of the relationship. He emphasized that the relationship must not be viewed through the prism of a third country.
On the regional situation, Ambassador Khan referred to the positive developments in the Afghan peace process and said that both Pakistan and US had convergence of views on an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan and that there was no military solution to the problem. He said that peace process offered the best hope for Afghanistan, its neighbors and international stake holders including the US for long lasting peace and stability in the region. All efforts and energy should go into making the intra-afghan negotiations successful. Pakistan remains committed to playing its part in achieving this objective.
The Ambassador also spoke in detail about the Indian destabilizing actions that had vitiated the security environment in South Asia including its unilateral and illegal actions in IIOJK that violated India’s own commitment given to the people of Kashmir, Pakistan and the International community and the UNSC Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He called on the US to play its traditional role of “tension diffuser” in South Asia and urge India to create an enabling environment for a constructive dialogue with Pakistan to resolve all disputes, foremost being “the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The virtual event was very well attended with participation of scholars, members of academia and think tanks from diverse background.