Pakistan and the United States relations moving towards enhanced cooperation and partnership: Ambassador Masood Khan

F.P. Report

NEW HAVEN: “Over the past seven decades we have built a strong relationship between Pakistan and the United States,” said Masood Khan while delving on the history of Pak-U.S. relations, during his talk on Pakistan-US partnership for Regional Peace and Stability organized by the South Asian Study Council at Yale University. “Both countries had cooperation in areas of security, economy and people-to-people exchanges from the early stages that laid the foundations for a strong partnership,” he added.

He elaborated that both countries partnered during the cold war and on war against terrorism. While the strategic aspect of the relations still remained important, he noted, both countries were now moving towards a diverse, broad-based partnerships, with a focus on trade and investment, education, climate change, IT and agriculture sectors. He explained that after U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, there had been some uncertainty regarding the mutual relevance of the relationship. However, the recent engagements have transformed Pak-US ties and new pathways for cooperation, particularly in the economic realm. He said that the bilateral trade between the two countries had been growing fast and the United States continues to be the largest export market for Pakistan.

He noted that about eighty US enterprises such as Proctor and Gamble, Abbott and Cargill, to name a few with 1,50,000 employees and supporting around one million households, were doing good business in Pakistan for decades.

Also, Pakistan’s thriving tech sector is witnessing a growing interest from Global technology investors and venture capitalists, like Kleiner Perkins and Tiger Global from the US who are taking lead in forging new business linkages for unlocking the potential of tech sector.

The Ambassador said that the number of Pakistani students enrolled in the US had increased by 17% to 8,000 this year however it has a lot more potential for growth in particular in the STEM disciplines, he added. Also the Ambassador noted that Pakistan is the largest recipient of the Fulbright scholarship with an alumni network of more than 25,000. However, this is small compared to the number of students from other countries of the region hence reiterated increased efforts for enhancing our students enrollments. He noted that Pakistan accords high priority in revising its knowledge corridor programme under which 10,000 Pakistani students and professional would be send to the US in the next 10 years for high education.

Ambassador also apprised the Dean and other faculty members regarding the embassy’s efforts to promote bilateral exchange programs especially enhancing collaboration between agriculture universities and research institutes of the two countries.

The Ambassador’s talk was followed by an interactive session with the audience where the students asked questions on the future of Pak-US relations and Pakistan’s role in the region.