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Pakistan values its mutually beneficial ties with the United States: PM Shehbaz

LAHORE: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that Pakistan valued its mutually beneficial ties with the United States and was determined to further enhance its trade and investment in multi-dimensional fields of IT, agriculture and industry.

Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif was talking to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Sardar Masood Khan, who called on him at his office, the PM Office said in a statement.

The prime minister directed the envoy to identify further avenues of collaboration to promote Pak-US trade and investment. He further directed Pakistan’s Mission in Washington and the authorities in Pakistan to extend full cooperation to the American investors.

The prime minister underscored that the government was working on priority basis to further ease trade and investment-related rules and regulations. The ambassador briefed the prime minister about the performance of Pakistan’s mission in the US.

The future of Pakistan-US ties have remained uncertain after the withdrawal of the US forces from neighbouring Afghanistan in August 2021 and also the changing priorities of Washington, which is more keen to expand its ties with India to counter China.

Pakistan, however, is keen to maintain relationship with the US and is interested in expanding cooperation beyond security and Afghanistan. However, observers are skeptical if Pakistan can achieve that objective.

Nevertheless, there has been a flurry of engagements between the two countries in recent months particularly after the change of government in April last year.

Last month, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to advancing bilateral relationship with Pakistan, expanding the full range of trade, security, education, people-to-people, climate, and clean energy cooperation.

The understanding was reached during several meetings between senior Pakistan officials and a visiting interagency delegation, led by US State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet, the US Embassy and the Foreign Office had said.