Pakistan & US looking toward future with confidence: Masood Khan

Ambassador says Pak-China relations not at expense of friendship with United States. 

WASHINGTON: Pakistan and United States have held many dialogue processes to promote shared objectives and continue to work on an agenda that is beneficial for the two countries,” said Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States.

“We are looking towards the future, into the future with confidence,” he said.

Ambassador Khan made these remarks in an interview with renowned anchor Anand Naidoo during the flagship program of China Global Television Network-America, The Heat.  

Outlining the contours of Pak-US relations post withdrawal period, the Ambassador said that the two countries have worked on perception management which was critical after the ‘messy’ war on terror. He said that the two countries had decided to use the space available given the geostrategic complexities of the region for building a stand-alone relationship. 

“I think we have succeeded to a great extent. We will enhance this space,” observed the ambassador. 

On Pak-China relations, Ambassador Khan observed that the relationship has proved to be productive. 

“Our relationship with China is not at expense of our friendship with the United States,” he emphasized.

Terming China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project as “very significant”, the Ambassador said that after completing early harvest projects under CPEC, the two countries realized that the mega project should also have an organic persona. He said that holistic program now included investments in tourism, technology, vocational training, agriculture and people to people exchanges.

“Up to now we’ve already disbursed about $25 billion and by 2030, we would be able to complete the remaining projects,” said the ambassador

“Since it is the flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, so we have reputational commitment to this project so that it succeeds under all circumstances,” he continued.

Discussing China’s broader role and multilateralism, Masood Khan underscored the need that there should be a level playing field for all the countries so that they can grow together. “They can avert wars and confrontation and opt for peace through dialogue and diplomacy,” he said.

He exuded optimism that the complementarities between the Western bloc and China would strengthen in the times to come which would benefit the developing world including Pakistan.

On Pakistan’s economic challenges, the Ambassador observed that the country rode through the storm of 2022 and now the economy was stable. The ambassador noted increased focus on IT, agriculture, renewable energy and extractive industries and said that the country was undertaking massive reforms including streamlining the tax regime, making the energy sector more efficient and privatizing non-performing state-owned enterprises. 

“Cumulatively, we have a bright outlook and a bright future economically,” he said.

On prime minister’s forthcoming visit to China, the ambassador said the agenda would include strengthening defense ties, deepening economic cooperation and investing in cultural exchanges.

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