Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry had two speaking engagements on 22 May 2017, one at the Department of International Studies, University of St. Thomas (under the ‘Distinguished Diplomat Program’ (DDP) and the other at Baker’s Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, which is one of the top ranking think tanks in the US. A number of students, members of the faculty, media personnel and other distinguished guests attended the two events.
The Ambassador in his presentation provided an overview of the relationship between USA and Pakistan covering the seven decades of bilateral relationship. He highlighted the evolution of the relationship from security oriented relationship to a deeper more dynamic and multifaceted relationship in which cooperation is taking place across multiple fields spanning from agriculture to industry, education to energy and from trade and investment to healthcare.
Ambassador Chaudhry recalled the close cooperation between the two countries and the successes they garnered during the Cold War era and also shed light on the unprecedented level of cooperation in the Post 9/11 scenario.
The Ambassador highlighted that while the relationship between Pakistan and USA has seen its ups and downs, however, both countries have continued to engage and cooperate with each other for long sustained periods and history has testified that both have been more successful whenever they worked together. The Ambassador emphasized the need for close cooperation between Pakistan and the US in order to fight terrorism and have long lasting peace in Afghanistan. He maintained that the challenges facing both countries in the form of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and security situation in Afghanistan also provided an opportunity for future cooperation and engagement.
“Pakistan and US need to build on their commonalities to further strengthen bilateral relationship”, he added.
While referring to the situation in Afghanistan, the Ambassador highlighted Pakistan’s efforts towards achieving peace in Afghanistan and remarked that there is a need to find a political solution to Afghanistan. He stated that a sovereign, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is vital to peace in Pakistan and the region.
The Ambassador also apprised the audience about the positive developments inside Pakistan including the successful security operations and the increasing economic opportunities. He highlighted the significant improvement within Pakistan’s stock market, foreign exchange reserves, foreign investment and enhanced credit ratings of the country.
The discussions were followed by Question & Answer sessions in which the Ambassador reemphasized Pakistan’s desire for peace in Afghanistan and good relations with India and other neighboring countries.
May 23 , 2017