Better Pak-US ties can lead to revival of Pakistan’s economy: Iftikhar Malik

Lahore: President Pak-US Business Council and Vice President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik said Pakistan’s strategic ties with the United States are of crucial importance and it needs further collaborative diplomatic efforts to stamp out the menace of terrorism in the region.
Addressing a seminar on “Implications of Trump’s new policy on South Asia” under the aegis of Pak-US Business Council here on Tuesday, he said that in prevailing odd circumstance, US cannot ignore Pakistan despite its constraints relations with its old ally in war against terrorism.
“For too long, the US has viewed the bilateral relationship only through the prism of Afghanistan. To achieve real progress, the US must make clear its enduring commitment to Pakistan’s stability and economic growth,” he added.
Criticizing the current Trump administration policy on Pakistan and Afghanistan, Malik said that by inviting New Delhi to play a larger role in Afghanistan, the new Trump policy, instead of soothing Islamabad’s fears about an Indian presence in Afghanistan, has inflamed Pakistani anxieties adding that Trump administration ought to have a clear understanding of the reasons behind America’s very indifferent record in trying to exert leverage on Pakistan.
Lt.Gen (Retd) Ghulam Mustafa former Corps Commander Mangla speaking on the occasion said peace could only be restored in Afghanistan through a negotiated settlement.
He said diplomatic ties to Washington remains one of critical importance to Pakistan despite Pakistan’s recent efforts to forge closer diplomatic ties with China and Russia adding that it is in the interest of the country we should further strengthen our economic ties with US.
Senior Faculty Member, Institute of Communication Studies, PU Dr Waqar Ch said that amounts paid out to Pakistan under a U.S. coalition support fund have fallen 62 percent from $1.44 billion in 2013, with hundreds of millions blocked in the past year as American officials said Pakistan wasn’t doing enough to root out groups like the Haqqanis.
Appreciating the role of China for building a strong economy in Pakistan he said China is the shield now and the more aid America will cut, Pakistan will be expecting China to fill the vacuum. “With more than $60 billion in planned infrastructure projects and strong diplomatic support for its positions, American threats to withdraw billions in military aid are becoming less worrying for Pakistan,” he added.
Executive member SAARC Chamber and senior leader of All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) Pervez Lala said that Pakistan has been blessed with countless resources and it is just the matter of putting our house in order.

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