Kingdom

Pakistan envoy confident of strong US ties

Both President Trump and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strong business backgrounds

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry has expressed confidence that US President Donald Trump and his new administration will engage positively with Pakistan, saying the two nations have been partners for the last seven decades and their multifaceted ties have benefited both.

In an interview with Pakistani official news agency APP after assuming his assignment in Washington on Monday, Ambassador Chaudhry said he would work to deepen the ‘mutually beneficial’ ties between the two countries.

The ambassador said that given that both President Trump and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have strong business backgrounds, the two countries can certainly profit from strong economic relations.

“One area where the two countries have cooperated closely in the recent past is the shared desire to defeat the menace of terrorism. Our partnership has helped defeat Al Qaida,” the ambassador said.

The ambassador said that Pakistan and the US could continue this mission until “our region is rid of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.

He further said that the two countries could also work together to stabilise Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan would like to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. “We have suffered in the past from instability in Afghanistan,” he said.

Responding to a question, he said it was vital that the United States and Pakistan work together to destroy the Daesh before the extremist group gains any footholds in Afghanistan.

When his attention was drawn to the fact that some US lawmakers continue to express reservations about Pakistan’s commitment to fight terrorism, the ambassador said it was important that the US lawmakers were apprised of the reality of today’s Pakistan, which was considerably different from the perceptions created by some detractors.

He said that Pakistan has turned the tide against terrorism and military’s antiterrorism Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been a resounding success.

“We are now consolidating through a new military operation, Raddul Fasaad, which is meant to hunt down and eliminate terrorists hiding in our society,” said Chaudhry, who was foreign secretary (top bureaucrat at the foreign ministry) before being appointed ambassador to the US.

“As foreign secretary of Pakistan, I was honoured to sit in many high-level meetings. I can say it with authority that Pakistan is now well on its way to defeat terrorism in our country.”