LAHORE – Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that Pakistan would have to maintain its relations with the USA keeping in view the current regional situation.

He stated while speaking at a seminar on ‘New American Administration and Pakistan’s Strategy’ organised by Pakistan Institute of National Affairs (PINA) here at Quaid-i-Azam Library.

PINA President Altaf Hassan Qureshi, SM Zaffar, Sajjad Mir and other prominent personalities also expressed their views on the occasion.

Ahsan said that Pakistan and other countries had no option about Donald Trump, who is now elected President of US. Keeping this fact in view, Pakistan will have to redesign its policies to continue ties with the US under new administration.

There was no permanent friendship or enmity in foreign policy as it based purely on national interest of respective countries, he said, adding that the US and Pakistan have common interests and policies as both wanted elimination of terrorism, ISIS and establishing durable peace in Afghanistan. It was therefore possible for both countries to move forward together.

Pakistan should end traditional thinking and sentiments and formulating foreign policies to attract major US companies for economic development, he said and asserted that it would also promote trade diplomacy between the two countries.

Ahsan mentioned that Donald Trump had also expressed his resolve to strengthen the relations with Pakistan during his telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as well as with Pakistan Ambassador in America.

The minister said that the US had always remained a ‘knowledge economy’ and its universities had a great impact on the global economies, citing that Japan, Malaysia, Iran, Russia, China and many other countries managed to rank themselves in the developed countries by taking optimum benefits of knowledge from US varsities.

He mentioned that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif announced a comprehensive programme for Pakistan students to get admission in US varsities in various fields. This programme will definitely boost Pakistan economy, he added. – APP