Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Pakistan to work with new US admin under "old friend of Pakistan"

Khalid Umar Malik
22 Jan 2021, 17:06 GMT+10

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said Pakistan was optimistic about enhancing ties with the US administration under new President Joe Biden, an "old friend of Pakistan."

Speaking at a webinar on Pakistan's priorities with the 46th US administration, organized by Karachi Council on Foreign Relations, Qureshi expressed confidence that President Biden would strengthen ties between the two countries.

He said, "President Biden has a clear perspective about the South Asian region. The two sides have the conformity of views about Afghanistan and other priorities such as Covid-19 pandemic and the strategy to deal with the climate change issues."

Qureshi said the US had a bipartisan opinion about India, but he welcomed the new US administration to have a clear stance about protecting human rights.

"The world is pointing out gross human rights violations in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The new US administration will hopefully play a role in getting stopped the Indian oppression against the eight million unarmed Kashmiris," he added.

He said that Pakistan was ready to engage with the US's new administration, considering it an opportunity to build a "long-term, broad-based and multidimensional" relationship.

"Such partnership would require an institutionalized and structured engagement, based on mutual respect and cooperation," Qureshi said.

The Foreign Minister said the US must continue to trust Pakistan as a partner for peace in Afghanistan where other actors did not share the same vision and played the role of "spoilers."

He said already an exchange of messages had taken place between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the new US President. They expressed interest in working with Pakistan on issues of common interests.

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