US ties in spotlight at Washington event

On 75th I-Day, envoy says despite challenges, the country has moved forward towards resilience


Our Correspondent August 15, 2022
Design: Mohsin Alam

WASHINGTON:

 

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan has said that Pakistan is being positioned as an economic and transit hub and a meeting point for positive global interests.

“We are committed to making Pakistan a beacon of peace and prosperity in the region,” the envoy said while addressing the flag hoisting ceremony marking the 75th Independence Day of Pakistan.

The event was attended by senior officials of the US State Department, and a large number of expatriate Pakistanis.

Addressing the gathering, Khan paid homage to the sacrifices of the nation’s forefathers for their vision and unparalleled sacrifices that ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan.

“Pakistan had a remarkable journey over the last 75 years,” he said. “Despite external and internal challenges, Pakistan has moved forward to become a resilient nation.”

Elaborating on the vision of the country, the ambassador said that Pakistan’s unique geographic location, demographic dividend, democratic orientation, and rich human and natural resources clearly put the country in a unique position to realise its vision.

He highlighted close friendly ties with the US and a robust partnership between the two countries in various critical sectors including trade, investment, regional connectivity, energy cooperation, people-to-people ties, education and cultural exchanges.

“We have been partners in making peace, building peace and keeping peace. We will continue to work with the US for peace and prosperity in the region and beyond,” he said.

Khan said that the people of Pakistan have always had a tremendous cultural affinity for the US. “Our brightest young men and women aspire to study in US colleges and universities through scholarship programmes such as Fulbright,” he said, adding that these Fulbright scholars have contributed tremendously to Pakistan’s socio-economic progress.

He also appreciated the role of the dynamic and vibrant Pakistani American community in the US and their valuable contributions to the country’s politics, culture and economy. “They are a bridge between the two countries,” he remarked.

State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Horst, while speaking on the occasion, said that the founders of both countries envisioned an independent and democratic free society.

She reiterated that the US has always viewed a strong, prosperous and democratic Pakistan as essential for the interests of both countries.

“We have fostered decades of collaboration between Pakistan and the US. Among the challenges that our two countries are jointly addressing are boosting trade development, the ongoing Covid-19 and climate crises, improving educational access and excellence and regional peace and stability,” she said.

She especially highlighted the robust partnership between the two countries in the education sector. Highlighting the visit of 800 students to the US every year and a network of over 37,000 alumni, she said that “every student is an ambassador and a champion for the advancement of our relations”.

Elizabeth also noted the increasing trade and investment relationship between the two countries and said that Pakistan-US trade increased last year by $200 million in the agriculture and energy sectors. “There are many opportunities right now, particularly in the digital economy,” she continued.

“We welcome Ambassador Khan to the State Department next month to inaugurate a new exhibition from the American Pakistan Foundation and National Museum of American diplomacy celebrating our deepening educational linkage,” she said.

Youth representatives and high achievers also spoke on the occasion. Children also presented a national song which was greatly applauded by the gathering. The envoy, along with guests, also cut the cake to mark the 75th Independence Day.

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