Pak-US relations set on boosting economy, trade: Masood Khan

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WASHINGTON, Jan 19 : Pakistan-US relations are strengthening in both security and non-security areas, with a special focus on investment and trade cooperation that emphasize the utility of the recently launched platform of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), Ambassador Masood Khan has said. “We must be partners … we must continue to talk to each other and resolve issues that would hinder peace and security in the region, but, more importantly, we must develop people-to-people contacts and increase economic cooperation”, the Pakistani envoy told a large audience in the prestigious University Club in Washington D.C.

The club’s International Committee had invited Ambassador Masood Khan to speak on a wide array of subjects. The audience comprised members of the think-tank community, businessmen, entrepreneurs, opinion makers, and the media. Highlighted the importance of Pak-US relations, the ambassador cited the presence of 80 US companies in Pakistan, he said that the US has a standing advantage because of it’s companies’ experience in Pakistan spanning decades and their existing investment infrastructure in the country. In the field of education and technology, he termed the recently renewed Pakistan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement transformative and stressed that its potential should be fully utilized for higher education, research and development, and technological collaboration. Identifying the sectors of agriculture, energy, IT, and mineral extraction, Masood Khan showcased the tremendous potential for investors to invest in Pakistan through the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). “We also need to collaborate in the realm of renewables, healthcare, education, and IT sector, particularly in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The IT sector is transformative for Pakistan, and the United States, particularly tech entrepreneurs and major capitalists, are heavily investing in Pakistan.” he reiterated. Ambassador Masood Khan also spoke about Pakistan-India relations and the importance of dialogue to resolve long-standing issues, including the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir, in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. “The quest for peace must continue. And our stance has been that we should resolve the outstanding issues between India and Pakistan through dialogue,” he said. Both Pakistan and India, he noted, were headed towards elections. “Let’s hope that a new leadership in both countries explores diplomacy to address outstanding issues.” Underscoring the need for strategic balance in the region, Ambassador Masood Khan emphasized responsible nuclear stewardship from all the states to ensure security for all. Ambassador Masood Khan said that Pakistan had strong ties with China which were not at the expense of the United States. “For the stability of international order, we must commit ourselves to the international humanitarian law,” he said After a brief Question and Answer session, Ambassador Masood Khan thanked Andrew Goodwin and the International Committee of the University Club for inviting him and providing him with the opportunity to share his thoughts.