WASHINGTON: On Thursday, Pakistan urged the US to resume weapons sales and finance that had been halted by the Trump administration. A top US official did so while recognizing the significance of this bilateral relationship in a crucial strategic region.
Masood Khan, Pakistan’s envoy in Washington, said at a conference in Washington: “It is important that the US restores — for Pakistan — Foreign Military Financing and Foreign Military Sales, suspended by the previous administration.”
However, Elizabeth Horst, the US’s principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, emphasized the necessity of aiding in the recovery of Pakistan’s faltering economy and urged Islamabad to cooperate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to do so.
She claimed that the reforms that Pakistan and the IMF agreed upon were difficult. But for Pakistan to get back on solid financial ground, prevent piling up more debt, and boost its economy, these steps are essential.
Washington requests that Islamabad carry out “tough reforms” agreed upon with the IMF.
The US-Pakistan relationship has been mired in a protracted period of uncertainty since the US withdrew from Afghanistan. Pakistan’s relations with the United States have been more strained as a result of increased US competitiveness with China and the nation’s faltering economy.
However, there have been more high-level diplomatic interactions and discussions recently that have been centered on commerce, energy, education, health, and defense.
The half-day symposium at the Wilson Centre in Washington, DC, was concerned with how the US-Pakistan relationship may be developed in the face of numerous difficult situations.
The role Washington can play in reducing tensions between India and Pakistan was highlighted by Ambassador Khan in addition to the necessity of reviving the two countries’ previously close ties.
“We do appreciate the US encouraging engagement between Pakistan and India. However, he added, “above all else, the US might serve as a catalyst to assist in resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, which has placed the region on the verge of war.
In response to a query, Ambassador Khan stated that Pakistan had consulted with the US administration before placing its initial order for Russian oil.
He also discussed the potential contribution Pakistan may make to stabilising Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan’s stability is imperative, first and foremost, for its own people who have suffered grievously over the past four decades,” he declared.
He said: “Let’s work together to eliminate this threat. Both the United States and China are worried about the rise of terrorism in Afghanistan. If left uncontrolled, it will expand to other regions of the region and beyond, posing a threat to Pakistan and Afghanistan right now.
In her discussion on the subject, Ms. Horst noted that Pakistan and the US “want a region where terrorists pose no threats and borders are respected.”