Stand-alone ties with US

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PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday urged the United States not to look at relations with Pakistan through Afghanistan or China lens as the ties between the two countries should stand on their own.

Addressing a reception hosted by the US Embassy in the Diplomatic Enclave Thursday to observe 75 years of diplomatic ties of the two countries, he referred to support and aid from the US over the years and expressed regret that aid worth $32 billion given by the US in the past was not spent “in the right direction”.

The desire expressed by the Prime Minister to have a stand-alone relationship with the United States is in accordance with the aspirations of people of Pakistan and there is growing evidence that the two sides are working sincerely to deepen their ties on the basis of self-respect and sovereign equality.

This is also confirmed by the remarks made on the occasion by the US Ambassador Donald Blome emphasised that the US relationship with Pakistan deserves to stand on its own.

The US envoy maintained that Pakistan-US ties are necessarily broad-based and profoundly important for both our countries, for the region, and for the world.

The recent high level engagements and positive remarks come in the backdrop of irritants in bilateral relations due to differences of perception on the Afghan issue and its resolution as well as uncalled for attempts made by the previous government in Pakistan blaming the US for a regime change in the country.

The latest audio leak of Imran Khan and his Principal Secretary confirmed that all this was engineered for political gains and the US envoy, in a separate interview, has also declared that there was no truth in regime-change allegations.

There is no doubt that the United States is the major trading partner and the biggest source of foreign exchange earnings for Pakistan.

It is also a fact that the US provided heft assistance but its impact is not as visible as the case with the Chinese assistance under CPEC.

This should be a thoroughly studied and proper revisions made in the aid policy.

 

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