USA the most unreliable partner of Pakistan, yet our political vision is not complete without USA. Ahmad Jawad
The United States administration had failed to appreciate Islamabad’s fight against terrorism, following a reduction in the US defence and civilian assistance together with a Congressional hold on approved funds, resulted in a visiting US delegation assuring that bilateral relations were on an equal footing and the US would continue military assistance with Congressional approval.
The assurance came in a meeting between Special Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and a two-member professional staff delegation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) of the US Congress comprising Kristen Marquardt and Sajit Gandhi.
Last week, Pakistan had been told by the US that the Congress was reluctant to agree on a $430 million grant for Pakistan so that it could buy eight F-16 fighter jets and instead Islamabad would have to pay the entire sum of $700 million. Initially, with the US grant, Pakistan was expected to pay only $270 million.
According to a statement from the Foreign Office spokesman, the delegation members noted that the US fully recognised that Pakistan had done a great deal in addressing various security challenges, primarily in its own interest.
“They reiterated that the efforts by the US to strengthen Pakistan’s capacity in its counterterrorism efforts, through continued provision of military equipment and assistance with approval of the US Congress, was a testimony to the strength of Pakistan-US bilateral relations,” added the statement.
The US says that its rapidly expanding cooperation in a number of other sectors, including energy, economy, education, science and technology, law enforcement and strategic stability, under the Pakistan-US Strategic Dialogue had put the bilateral relations on a sound footing.
During the meeting, Fatemi had clearly told the delegation that there was a lack of sufficient appreciation for Pakistan’s whole-hearted efforts it was undertaking jointly with the US administration in countering the threat posed by terrorism. “Topics concerning reduction in US defence and civilian assistance to Pakistan and Congressional hold on some already-approved funds were also deliberated upon,” said the statement.
The delegation was reminded about Pakistan’s sincere efforts and sacrifices in confronting the serious security threats in an increasingly complex regional situation, which should be appreciated at all levels.
“This expectation was more from our friends in the US, who have been our close aides and partners all along on these issues and better understand the nature and complexity of the challenges faced by Pakistan,” was a reminder from Fatemi.
He also briefed the delegation in detail about Pakistan’s continued and sincere efforts together with the US, China and Afghanistan to promote peace in Afghanistan through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process. Views were also exchanged on a number of other issues.
“Pakistan has shown utmost sincerity in difficult circumstances in taking action against all terror outfits in the country, for an improvement of its relations with India, as well as to contribute positively in the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan,” said the special assistant.