WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s ambassador to US Ali J. Siddiqui said that it is time to stop looking at Pakistan through a limited third country prism.
The Pakistani envoy made these views while addressing to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), ranked the number one think tank in the world for ‘Top Defense and National Security Think Tanks’, on a Pak-US relationship.
The event hosted at the CSIS headquarters included a series of sessions to cover multifaceted discussions on new areas of mutual interest between Pakistan and the US, areas for future economic partnerships in sectors such as energy; agriculture and tourism, CPEC and Pak-US partnership for greater regional connectivity with Central Asia.Commenting on Us investors Ambassador Siddiqui observed that interested US companies have missed out on various opportunities in Pakistan against their competitors in Europe and Asia, especially in telecommunication services – which has experienced immense growth. The Ambassador further said that many more opportunities related to energy, agriculture and most importantly, increased regional connectivity with Central Asia continue to exist for US companies.
A detailed portion of the event contemplated how the Pakistan US relationship can be broadened from its current one-dimensional state that is limited to security interests.
Ambassador Siddiqui highlighted that Pakistan offers enormous economic growth potential and a partnership that benefits from economic cooperation, profit, technology exchange and shared regional interests would be in the greater strategic interest of both nations. He said that it was time to stop looking at Pakistan through a limited third country prism whether it be India or Afghanistan. During the discussion on CPEC and the Pak-China relationship, Ambassador relayed Pakistan’s perspective and addressed common misconceptions in the US. He added that contrary to common perception CPEC has actually benefitted US companies such as General Electric.
Mr. Runde presented that Pakistan shares the league of Brazil and Indonesia when it comes to population and potential, and thus the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and the US must at least match the multidimensionality enjoyed with other similar nations.
Mr. Jones added a series of comments related to moving beyond the security relationship along with the models of Indonesia and Brazil and in line with the impressions of how Pakistan is developing. Ambassador Siddiqui acknowledged the positive direction set during the summit and following meetings between President Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan. He added that the relationship definitely appears to be on the right track, highlighting steps taken since to build upon the Pak-US economic potential. He also presented Pakistan’s support of the peace process in Afghanistan and opportunities post peace for Pakistan and the US.