Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani spoke at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, held under the auspices of the Middle East Institute, on Pakistan-U.S. relations and Pakistan’s perspective on the regional situation. This was a featured event in the Middle East Institute’s Louis R. Hughes Lecture Series. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain, President of the Middle East Institute and Mr. Marvin Weinbaum, Director of Center for Pakistan Studies at the Institute welcomed the Ambassador.
In his remarks, Ambassador Jilani said that he was representing a new Pakistan today. A Pakistan where democracy had taken roots, where free media and independent judiciary were contributing to an effective system of checks and balances and where all state institutions were working within constitutional parameters. He also gave a detailed overview of the government’s efforts to overcome the challenges in security, economic growth, and energy sectors.
Ambassador Jilani also dealt in detail with the contours of Pakistan-U.S. bilateral ties. Expressing satisfaction on the current state of relationship that was marked by mutual respect and cordiality, Ambassador Jilani said that the Prime Minister’s historic visit last year, the resumption of the Strategic Dialogue and the timely convening of its Ministerial Review, and many other high level interactions had all provided the much needed positive momentum and upward trajectory to the bilateral ties
On the way forward, Ambassador Jilani said that both sides had realized the need to respect each other’s priorities, concerns and comfort space. The focus was now on moving towards a broad based, comprehensive and strategic partnership through the Strategic Dialogue process. He also emphasized the need to effectively address the irritants like unilateral U.S. drone strikes.
In the regional context, Ambassador Jilani said that international community’s focus on economic development and building the capacity of the Afghan security forces would be of crucial importance. He expressed the hope that the forthcoming elections in Afghanistan will be held in a free and fair manner and would pave the way for peace and stability in that country. He reiterated Pakistan’s full support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
On Pakistan-India relations, Ambassador Jilani reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir through a sustained, result oriented and meaningful dialogue and expressed the hope that India will reciprocate Pakistan’s sincere gestures.
The event was attended by a wide cross section of Washington DC based think tank community, academia, U.S. officials, media representatives and notable Pakistani-Americans.
Feb 27, 2014