Diplomacy : US ambassador pays chief minister a visit

Possible avenues of future cooperation discussed.

Express May 09, 2011


United States Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter called on Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at his residence on Monday. Munter was accompanied by Karachi Consul-General William Martin and other American diplomats. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ongoing development projects in Sindh and avenues of possible US-Pakistan cooperation, particularly for American investment in the Pakistan economy.

The CM apprised the ambassador of rehabilitation and reconstruction projects under way in Sindh. He said that despite the unprecedented floods, the federal government had come to its aid as well as several foreign countries that had started projects in different flood-affected areas.

Avenues for American businesses to invest in the province were discussed. The CM maintained that there were significant opportunities in the energy sector and that despite last year’s floods, Pakistan had harvested a bumper crop of wheat and the Sindh government had exported a big quantity of it.

Shah said that his administration had made the maintenance of law and order its priority. Concerted efforts have been made to curb criminal and terrorist activities to attract foreign investment.

Munter agreed with the CM’s analysis of the situation. He said that there are many opportunities for foreign investment in Pakistan and American businesses are keen to set up projects in various sectors.

The chief minister presented the ambassador with several mementos, including ajrak, khais and a shield of the CM House.

US diplomat also meets Sindh governor

Munter also met Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan at Governor House on Monday with Martin. The governor said that Pakistan was a frontline state in the war against terror and has made innumerable sacrifices to achieve its goals.

The world should appreciate Pakistan’s role, especially the one played by the army. Dr Ebad was of the view that the killing of Osama bin Laden should enhance ties between Pakistan and America and there should be clarity and transparency, as any misunderstanding could be harmful for both countries. Pakistan was facing many challenges, particularly in its economy, and the upcoming budget would be critical. The people of Pakistan would have to convert these challenges into opportunities.

Munter said that it was his mandate to improve and strengthen ties with Pakistan. He vowed to take his government into confidence so that all ambiguities between the two countries could be removed.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2011.


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