NEW YORK - Pakistan’s relations with the United States are on positive trajectory and the two countries are working cooperatively in wide-ranging areas, especially in economic, trade and energy sectors, Pak Ambassador to US Jalil Abbas Jilani has said.
Speaking at the Carnegie Council, a think-tank, and, later, at a meeting with Pakistani journalists based in New York, he said that in line with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision for economic prosperity, Pakistan is also working with India and Afghanistan towards regional peace and stability.
“Our relations with the United States are in a very positive direction,” Jilani told reporters as he wrapped his first visit to New York on Friday after taking over as Pakistan’s ambassador some five months ago. He said he had had intensive meetings with top US officials, Congressional leaders and opinion makers and would continue his interaction with American leaders to apprise them of Pakistan’s position on key issues and its concerns.
He said he had also conferred with high officials of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and they expressed confidence in Pakistan’s economy and its financial institutions.
At Carnegie Council, the Pakistani ambassador told a select American audience that Pakistan had embarked upon an ambitious economic revival plan which has begun to show results.
In an effort to create a violence-free environment, the government has introduced a National Security Policy and has launched a full-scale military operation to get rid of safe havens in the tribal areas of Pakistan, he said.
“The operations will not only improve the security situation in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan as well,” he added.
Referring to Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi, Jilani said the move was in line with the Pakistani leader’s vision of peaceful region and economic revival.
Ambassador Jilini said that, the history of Pakistan-India relations has not been a glorious one due to the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Siachen, Sir Creek, terrorism and water issues.
He expressed optimism about a strong realisation in South Asia regarding imperatives of peace. The ambassador asserted that durable peace cannot be achieved without resolving the core issues.
The ambassador elaborated that this realisation is due to the recognition that there is no military solution to the ongoing problems and that neither country can achieve its economic potential without resolving disputes.
On Afghanistan, Ambassador Jilani said from the outset Pakistan was and continues to remain directly affected by the happenings in next door. He said that while Pakistan hosted the largest refugee population in the world, it suffered deeply from the culture of violence and extremism, arms proliferation and narco-trafficking. “Pakistan continues to face the brunt of the unstable situation in Afghanistan,” he added.
He said that the coming months and years offer great opportunities. “We all made mistakes but we have learnt our lessons as well,” he added.
Jilini said continuation of conflict in Afghanistan hurts Pakistan the most. “Besides the burden of millions of refugees, my country has become part of the war zone. Improvement of relations between India and Pakistan will help the region and Afghanistan,” he added.
CSF provided for operation against terrorists in Waziristan: Ambassador Jilani
Jilani said the US is aware of the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan Army. He said Coalition Support Fund (CSF) was provided for military operation against terrorists in Waziristan and that the US thinks positive about this operation.