February 20, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday known as on america to “constructively” have interaction with the South Asian nation in an interview on the sidelines of the World Financial Discussion board.

Ties between Islamabad and Washington, as soon as shut allies, have simply began to heat after some years of frosty relations, principally on account of issues about Pakistan’s alleged help of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies this help. 

Relations strained additional underneath the federal government of former prime minister Imran Khan, who dominated from 2018-22 and antagonized Washington all through his tenure, welcoming the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 and later accusing Washington of being behind makes an attempt to oust him. Washington has dismissed the accusation. 

The federal government of PM Shehbaz Sharif that took over after Khan and whose time period ended final 12 months tried to fix ties however analysts broadly imagine america won’t search a major broadening of ties with Islamabad within the close to future however stay principally targeted on safety cooperation, particularly on counterterrorism and Afghanistan.

“Pakistan is a rustic of consequence, not a rustic of concern so we want that Pakistan needs to be constructively engaged,” Kakar mentioned in an interview to CNBC when requested about Pakistan’s message to the Joe Biden administration forward of polls on Feb. 8. 

“It’s a mid-sized energy and its precise potential and function must be appreciated and that constructive engagement, be it within the area or a world scale, is a requirement and want of the hour.”

Islamabad has lengthy known as for a broadening of ties with Washington past simply safety issues and hopes to spice up bilateral commerce in items and providers, which the Pakistani embassy says totals about $12 billion presently.

Pakistan additionally hopes to draw extra US funding, with a specific concentrate on IT and prescription drugs, after an extended lull throughout which China grew to become the dominant investor. Pakistani officers say the nation is well-placed to assist diversify US provide chains that have been depending on China earlier than COVID-19, however have began to shift towards different regional suppliers and will function a gateway to Central Asia.

“The US has been one of many largest sources of overseas direct funding in Pakistan and stays Pakistan’s largest export market,” the US State Division profile on Pak-US ties says.

“Commerce and funding relations between america and Pakistan proceed to develop, and the US authorities helps this relationship by organizing enterprise to enterprise commerce delegations, offering technical help, and selling enterprise alternatives for US firms to develop US-Pakistan business partnerships.”

On the financial entrance, the US has lengthy been Pakistan’s largest export market, importing greater than $5 billion in Pakistani items in 2021, far surpassing every other nation. The US has additionally been a number one investor in Pakistan for the previous 20 years.

“In the newest fiscal 12 months, US direct funding in Pakistan elevated by 50 % – it’s now the best it has been in over a decade,” the State Division mentioned.

“Main US investments are concentrated in client items, chemical substances, vitality, agriculture, enterprise course of out-sourcing, transportation, and communications.”

Nevertheless, the US has typically emphasised areas in Pakistan’s enterprise local weather that should be strengthened, together with regulation, mental property safety, and taxation.