Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs addressed members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on “Prospects of Pakistan-US Relations,” in Washington DC today. The talk was followed by a conversation with Dr Shirin R. Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy Institute, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a lively discussion with the audience. The event was streamed live, and covered by the US and Pakistani press.
The Adviser, building on the historical context of Pakistan-US relations, expressed satisfaction over the Strategic Dialogue process between the two countries. He highlighted the major achievements of the process, including the Pak-US renewable energy partnership and expanding cooperation in the fields of education, and science and technology. He laid out the convergences in the relationship for future cooperation, with regard to counterterrorism measures, strengthening of democratic process in the country, Prime Minister’s policy of peaceful neighbourhood and recent successes in economic growth in Pakistan. He also touched upon the negative themes in the ties and highlighted i)Pakistan’s successful military operation in FATA region which has destroyed 90-95% of terrorist infrastructure in the border region including that of Haqqani Network; ii) excellent Command and Control system for safety of nuclear weapons-recognised internationally and by the United States; and iii) impressing upon the United States not to contribute to strategic imbalance in South Asia by helping India. He emphasised that the convergences in the relationship outweigh the irritants.
The Adviser’s engagement afforded us an opportunity to present Pakistan’s perspective on regional dynamics and our relations with the United States. It also enhanced the public understanding of the critical importance of the relationships and their complexities.
March 01, 2016