Pak Speaker tells envoy designate to reinforce ties with United States

| Updated: Mar 08, 2017 23:12 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar.8 (ANI): The Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, has told ambassador-designate to the United States and former foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary that Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with United States and wants to further reinforce them through intensified parliamentary and trade ties. He said this here on Wednesday, reports Radio Pakistan. He asked Chaudhary to utilize his diplomatic expertise to further improve bilateral relations between the two countries. Chaudhary assured that he would make all efforts to further strengthen the relations between two nations. According to a Heritage Foundation study, relations between the United States and Pakistan have ebbed and flowed over the last decade. Tensions peaked following the May 2, 2011 U.S. raid that eliminated Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, and the relationship hit its post-9/11 nadir in November of that year, when Pakistan cut off U.S. supply lines into Afghanistan after a NATO strike killed over two dozen Pakistani troops stationed along the Afghan border. U.S.-Pakistan ties have improved somewhat since then. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and then Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif made separate visits to Washington in 2015, during which leaders of the two countries expressed commitment to an enduring partnership. The United States also continues to provide substantial economic and military assistance to Pakistan. In fiscal 2015, the U.S. gave USD 371 million in security-related assistance and USD 468 million in economic-related aid for Pakistan. An additional USD 1 billion was authorized for Coalition Support Fund (CSF) reimbursements (payments for Pakistani military deployments and operations along the border with Afghanistan), although $300 million of CSF funding was withheld because of Pakistan's failure to meet legislative conditions on the aid. Still, U.S. and Pakistani goals in South Asia remain far from aligned. At stake in the region are some of America's most vital national security interests including: ensuring that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan serves as a safe haven for global terrorists; keeping Pakistan's nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists; and preventing war between India and Pakistan that could potentially go nuclear. The global terrorist threat emanating from Pakistan remains a major U.S. national security concern as a multitude of different extremist groups with varying degrees of ties to al-Qaeda continue to operate in and from Pakistan.(ANI with inputs)