Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry participated as a Chief Guest in ‘Ambassador Insider Series’ an event organized by The Washington Diplomat,a US monthly newspaper. The event was attended by a number of present and former Ambassadors, Congress and Senate Staffers, State Department officials and prominent media persons, says a press release received from Washington here today.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Aizaz Chaudhry briefed the participants about the latest Security and economic situation in Pakistan, particularly after it has achieved numerous successes in its relentless efforts against terrorists during past four years. Referring to the current state of bilateral relations, the Ambassador stated that Pakistan greatly values its relations with the US spanning over seven decades. “No doubt, the relationship has seen many ups and downs in the past however, both the countries greatly benefited whenever they worked together”, the Ambassador added. There might be some misunderstandings in the relations at the moment but eventually both the countries will be able to clear these misunderstandings through positive and constructive engagement both at political and diplomatic levels, he hoped.
In response to a question by the moderator, Anna Gawel, Managing Editor of The Washington Diplomat,Ambassador Chaudhry said that there are lessons to be learnt from the successes achieved by Pakistan in the war against terrorism. We have reversed the tide of terrorism only after rendering tremendous sacrifices, in terms of lives and resources,in fighting the menace effectively.The number of terrorists incidents taking place in the country have been reduced significantly leaving a salutary effect on our economy as all our key economic indicators are showing tremendous improvement.Pakistan is now being recognized as an emerging economy which has enormous potential of growth. “International business firms including corporate America are keen to make investments in Pakistan which signifies investors’ confidence in Pakistan’s growing economy”. Ambassador added.
While responding to another question, Ambassador Chaudhry said that it is not fair to look at Pakistan through a narrow prism of Afghanistan. Pakistan, with a population of more than 200 million people and tremendous economic & natural resources including vibrant youth is an important country in the region and has played and will continue to play the most significant role in bringing peace and stability in the region. While reiterating Pakistan’s firm commitment in supporting efforts of the international community including USA for bringing peace in Afghanistan, Ambassador said that since Afghanistan is not a military problem,there is no military solution to it.
A holistic regional approach aimed at finding a political solution is required and Pakistan will play its due role in any such efforts, he added. Referring to the South Asia Strategy announced by President Trump, the Ambassador said that both the countries have started engaging each other at various levels to overcome the stalemate in relations witnessed immediately after the announcement of SA Strategy.
A number of high level bilateral visits and meetings particularly between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Vice President Mike Pence in New York last month and meeting between the two Foreign Ministers earlier this month have paved way to carry forward this engagement as Secretary Rex Tillerson is expected to visit Islamabad soon.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Chaudhry thanked the organizers of The Washington Diplomat, for organizing such a prestigious event where distinguished guests from all walks of life participated.