Masood Khan, the representative of Pakistan in Washington, requested the Trump administration to end the ban on military aid and sales to Islamabad.
At a seminar in Washington on Thursday, he said, “It is crucial that the US reinstates — for Pakistan — Foreign Military Financing and Foreign Military Sales, suspended by the previous administration.
Instead, Pakistan was recommended to restore its economy and cooperate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by Elizabeth Horst, the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
Ambassador Khan emphasised the value of rekindling relations with the US and the part Washington can play in reducing tensions with India. “We do appreciate the US encouraging engagement between Pakistan and India. However, the US could also serve as a “catalyst” to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir conflict, which has kept the region on the verge of war, he continued.
However, Elizabeth Horst acknowledged that the current focus is all on Pakistan’s current economic situation. “The reforms agreed to by Pakistan and the IMF are difficult. But for Pakistan to get back on solid financial ground, avoid accruing more debt, and boost its economy, these steps must be taken, the US official emphasised.
The relationship between the US and Pakistan has been fraught with uncertainty ever since the US withdrew from Afghanistan and China has grown during the past several years. However, recent times have seen an increase in high-level diplomatic engagements and discussions on trade, energy, education, health, and defence.
The Friday afternoon session at the Wilson Centre in Washington, D.C., was centred on how the US-Pakistan relationship may be moulded in the face of difficult situations.