US seeks robust long-term ties with Pakistan

Published August 15, 2022
Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Masood Khan hoists the national flag on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Independence Day of Pakistan in Washington, DC. — APP
Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Masood Khan hoists the national flag on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Independence Day of Pakistan in Washington, DC. — APP

WASHINGTON: As greetings on the completion of 75 years of independence poured in from different parts of the world, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his message on the occasion on Sunday emphasised the need for Pakistan and United States to rebuild their robust relationship for the next 75 years and beyond.

The top US diplomat said that in addition to 75 years of independence, this year also marks 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Also, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the occasion tweeted, “A very happy 75th Independence Day to the people of Pakistan. In 75 years our people have forged close ties, with 1.6 million people of Pakistani heritage calling the UK home. I look forward to seeing our relationship strengthen yet further in the years ahead!”

“On the 75th Independence Day of Pakistan, we celebrate our two nations’ strong ties and cooperation at every front, and extend our warmest congratulations and wishes for progress, peace and prosperity to the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” said UAE Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.

Secretary Blinken, UK prime minister among several world leaders expressing their good wishes on Independence Day

Recently, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan was invited to the White House to mark the 75th year of diplomatic relations between the two nations, where he conveyed Pakistan’s desire to continue a strong relationship with the US.

“As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, let us resolve to renew and strengthen our partnership for the next 75 years and beyond,” said Secretary Blinken. His message, however, went beyond the traditional greetings and noted that the two nations have enjoyed robust cooperation in many sectors.

While highlighting various aspects of this cooperation, Secretary Blinken said tens of thousands of Pakistani exchange students come to the US and the country has committed to provide 77 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Pakistan during the pandemic.

Secretary Blinken pointed out that the United States continues to be Pakistan’s largest export destination and said that he was confident this relationship will continue to grow.

The message comes at a time when two nations have resumed efforts to rebuild the relationship that once brought them together as close strategic, military, and economic partners.

The US was now helping Pakistan negotiate the loan programme with the International Monetary Fund and was also expected to make similar arrangements with other bilateral donors.

Read: Pakistan seeks US help with IMF talks

The two allies, whose differences started with disagreements on Afghanistan, now also seem eager to cooperate on these contentious issues.

Even former prime minister Imran Khan, who has accused the United States of backing efforts to topple his government, has hired a public relations firm to improve his relations with Washington.

At a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, Ambassador Khan noted that in the past seven decades, the US and Pakistan have achieved a lot and the two countries commit themselves to working together for peace, security and stability.

“Most importantly, we will strengthen our people to people ties that will nurture our relations at all levels. Long Live Pakistan-US friendship,” he added.

At the United Nations, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Munir Akram reminded the international community of their pledge to help the people of Kashmir attain their fundamental rights usurped by India.

In a message shared with the member states of the United Nations, Ambassador Akram said: “As we celebrate our independence, we stand firmly with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their struggle for right to self-determination and freedom.”

He pledged to “continue to raise Kashmir’s call for liberation at the United Nations and in all forums.”

Noting that Pakistan was a young but resilient nation, Ambassador Akram assured the international community that Pakistan will also overcome the challenges it was facing now.

“Our entire history is a history of resilience. We are a strong nation. We are an influential and important country on the world stage,” he said.

“Today, we face great challenges but God Willing, we will overcome these challenges also.”

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2022

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