ISLAMABABD - US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon who called on Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar at Pakistan Embassy Washington DC, conveyed the Trump Administration's commitment to engage Pakistan for a broad-based bilateral relationship and to partner with Pakistan for achieving regional peace and security in South Asia.

According to a message received here late Monday night, the finance minister, who is visiting the United States to participate in the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF, is utilising his stay in Washington to engage the US officials for exchange of views on important bilateral matters and regional issues.

Dar conveyed to the US official that Pakistan would continue to make efforts to build on the already existing mutually beneficial elements in the bilateral relationship in the days and months ahead to further solidify the relations between the two countries during the Trump Administration.

"We would continue to work for a relationship based on mutual respect and mutuality of interests", observed Dar.

Reiterating Pakistan's strong resolve to combat terrorism and extremism in the country, the finance minister briefed the acting deputy secretary about Pakistan's sustained counter-terror operations across the country.

"We are conducting these security operations with the unwavering belief that ridding the society of the scourge of terrorists and extremists is in Pakistan's national interest. People of Pakistan are backing our security forces in their operations as a result of the national consensus achieved by the people and the institutions of Pakistan. There is no other country which has sacrificed more in human lives and material terms than Pakistan in the global fight against terrorism."

He told the US official that the economic turnaround in the country was an indication of the improved security situation as well as a result of the highly liberal economic policies pursued by the government of Pakistan. He assured the US official that the government would maintain the pressure on the elements engaged in terrorism and extremism in the country till the objectives set out in the National Action Plan for secure and prosperous Pakistan were achieved.

The finance minister welcomed the US National Security Advisor Lt-Gen McMaster's recent visit to Pakistan, terming it a strong and timely indication of the US's desire to partner with Pakistan in achieving the common objectives of peace and security in Afghanistan and the larger South Asia region.

Highlighting the concerns in Pakistan over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Dar observed that the only long-term resolution of the problems in Afghanistan was political and use of military means should only be to facilitate an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.

DAR SEEKS US INVESTMENT

The present govt is committed to ensuring transparency in all sectors of the economy working closely with the international organisations like OECD etc for bringing good governance through transparency and fighting against corruption & tax evasion, Federal Finance Minister, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar told the US Pakistan Business Council (USPBC).

According to a message received from Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC early Tuesday morning, he was addressing the members of USPBC at US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC.

After having achieved the macroeconomic stability, Dar said that the Pakistan government was making concrete efforts to achieve sustainable and inclusive higher growth.

He apprised the audience that international rating of Pakistan has improved significantly from negative to positive during the span of last four years.

Our Stock Market has emerged as 5th best performer in the world which clearly indicates that Pakistan has huge potential for investment, he said.

Pakistan has so far introduced 24 laws to make the environment business friendly whereas 10 more such laws are in the making.

While stating that Pakistan and the US have long history of strong bilateral relations particularly in the arena of trade, business & social development, the Minister urged the US investors to take advantage of the tremendous investment opportunities opening up in Pakistan.

The international Companies must consider relocating their manufacturing operations to Pakistan as the country had abundant supply of cheap labour and provides convenient access to very large regional market, he suggested.

Presently, Pakistan is offering low interest rate and is in the process of setting up Pakistan Infrastructure Bank led by IFC to provide capital for infrastructural development to the private sector, he added.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that financial & digital inclusion of Pakistani population was among top priorities of the government.

The event was attended by the representatives of large US Multinationals including GE, Boeing, LockHeed Martin, Proctor & Gamble, Monsanto, ExxonMobil, Motorola, Uber, Cocacola and others who greatly appreciated the robust improvement in economic and business environment in Pakistan.