WASHINGTON: Continuing his engagement with the US Senators and Congressmen to brief them about Pakistan’s right against terrorism and regional situation, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had two meetings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Ambassador Chaudhry met Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. Senator Isakson, who is the senior senator from the state of Georgia, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He also chairs the Senate Committees on Ethics and Veterans’ Affairs.
Separately, the ambassador also met with Congressman Joe Wilson, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina. Congressman Wilson serves on both the House Foreign Affairs and the House Armed Services Committees.
In the meetings, ambassador updated Senator Isakson and Congressman Wilson on the latest developments in the context of Pakistan-US relations. He drew their attention to the marked improvement in Pakistan’s economic outlook and security environment, in order to highlight the potential for business-to-business cooperation between the two countries.
Expressing his sadness over the tragic events in New York on Tuesday, Ambassador Chaudhry said that such barbarous acts of terrorism are a reminder of some of the common challenges confronting both the United States and Pakistan. While Pakistan had achieved great success in its fight against militancy and extremism, it continued to work with the United States in ridding the broader South Asia region of the menace of terrorism.
The members of Congress agreed with the ambassador on the need for continued cooperation between the two countries for achieving their common objectives in the region.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan’s ambassador also met Senator Todd Young (Republican-Indiana) at Capitol Hill. The ambassador briefed Senator Young, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Pakistan-US bilateral relations and shared Pakistan’s perspective on the situation in South Asia.
Senator Young thanked Ambassador Chaudhry for his detailed briefing and stressed the need for close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States for peace and stability in the region.
Ambassador Chaudhry visited the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University (GWU Wednesday, to speak to the students and faculty on regional and global issues and present Pakistan’s perspective on these issues. The event was co-hosted by the GW Law School and the Elliot School.
Ambassador Chaudhry in his presentation reflected upon the changing world and the emerging alliances around the world. He stressed that in an era of changing global alignments, there is a need for forging closer regional cooperation for attaining economic prosperity.
Regarding Pakistan-US relations, Ambassador pointed out that history has shown that both countries have benefitted by working together. It is important to realise that both Pakistan and the US have shared common interests. Both for Pakistan and the US, peace is a common goal to be achieved in Afghanistan. Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the Afghanistan problem. Instead, a holistic political approach is required in which kinetic actions would only be a part of an overall strategy.
An Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political solution would pave the way to achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan. Hence, it is important for Pakistan and the US to work together for the stability and security of Afghanistan and the region. Ambassador emphasised that peace in Afghanistan is much more important for Pakistan than any other country in the region.
In response to a question related to Pak-India relations, Ambassador Chaudhry said that the United States can play a useful role to promote a dialogue between Pakistan and India for peaceful resolution of bilateral disputes including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He reiterated that the way forward for both Pakistan and India is to make efforts to address outstanding issues and work towards a peaceful co-existence which would help bring peace, stability & prosperity in the entire region, he added.
Commenting on tremendous counterterrorism efforts made by Pakistan over last four years, Ambassador narrated that Pakistan has effectively reversed the tide of terrorism and peace is returning to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The displaced people have returned to their homes and trying to resume their normal life. Pakistan has not only acted against the terrorists but has also put them on the run which is unprecedented given the fact that the whole region is still grappling with the issue of terrorism, he added.
Towards the end of the event, ambassador thanked the dean and team of Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University for extending an opportunity of interacting with the young and enlightened audience.