US withdrawal from Afghanistan creates new opportunities, says Pakistan envoy

Published January 26, 2022
A file photo of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan. — Photo via Twitter
A file photo of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan. — Photo via Twitter

WASHINGTON: The withdrawal of Nato troops from Afghanistan has created new opportunities for Pakistan and the United States to build a more broad-based relationship, according to the country’s US ambassador Asad Majeed Khan.

In a conversation with members of the American Association of Foreign Services Worldwide (AASFW) and retired diplomatic and consular officers, Ambassador Khan said that the two countries had many common interests to build this broad-based relationship.

The association hosted the Pakistani envoy earlier this week for a discussion on US-Pakistan relations. “Our engagement with the US has often been narrowly framed, dictated either by short-term security interests or the imperative to deal with a common challenge,” he said in his address.

“We want to break out of this pattern. Now that the US military mission is over, we want to take our relationship beyond counterterrorism and Afghanistan, which of course would remain priorities.” The ambassador said that for Pakistan, the United States remained an important partner as “our largest export market and major source of foreign remittances.”

Pakistan, he said, was one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world, which has built a cultural affinity between the two countries and that’s why “talented young Pakistanis continue to gravitate towards American college campuses and Silicon Valley incubators.

Ambassador Khan pointed out that there was also a large and politically engaged Pakistani American community that served as a bridge between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2022

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