WASHINGTON – Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi spoke to a select gathering of foreign policy experts and US government representatives at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) this afternoon. He highlighted the achievements of the government in bringing economic stability and domestic peace to Pakistan.
Dilating upon Pakistan’s sacrifices and achievements in the fight against terrorism, Mr. Fatemi stated that since June 2013 the writ of the government had been established in large parts of the tribal areas of Pakistan and social and economic activities taking place in these areas were a testimony to this fact. This, he stated, had come at a huge cost for Pakistan.
The country had sacrificed thousands of lives of both civilian and security personnel in the fight against terrorism but its resolve to eradicate the menace remained strong as ever. Highlighting the various steps that the government had taken to restore the country’s economic outlook, he stated that the crippling power shortages that had beset Pakistan for years would be a thing of the past by the end of the next year.
He described Pakistan’s efforts to normalize relations with India and reach out to Afghanistan for peace and stability as the center piece of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of peaceful and prosperous neighborhood. He, however, lamented the absence of any reciprocal desire on the part of some of Pakistani neighbours.
Dispelling any misconceptions to the contrary, SAPM informed the US audience that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was an economic initiative, which was open to all interested countries.
Speaking about Pakistan-US relations, the SAPM emphasized that Pakistan attached great importance to its ties with US. “US is an important strategic partner in both the security and economic domains for Pakistan and we look forward to building on the existing convergences in the relationship as well as addressing mutual differences if any, through continued engagement in the weeks and months ahead as President Trump’s Administration takes charge in January next year”, observed Mr.Fatemi. He termed as encouraging some of the recent pronouncements by the President-elect indicating US willingness to play its part in helping with certain important issues facing the South Asian region.