“Pakistan should not seek a strategic relationship with the US. Instead, we should aspire for a Working Relationship, which is cordial and dynamic, and does not curtail our sovereignty and national interest.”
– Ambassador (R) Riaz Khokhar
These were the views of former Ambassador Riaz Khokhar at the Guest Lecture organised by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute here in Islamabad, today. Ambassador Khokhar has been Pakistan’s envoy to Dhaka, New Delhi, Washington, D.C. and Beijing before becoming Foreign Secretary in 2002. The lecture on ‘Improving Pakistan-US Relations: Ways and Means’ explored Pakistan’s relationship with the US, in light of the former’s ties with China and the latter’s with India. He also discussed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump and the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
Ambassador Khokhar opined that Pakistan and the US have been allies and we have shed blood for collective cause and interests. Therefore, neither side can easily brush this relationship aside in spite of President Trump’s choice of hard words at times and vacillating approach towards Pakistan. ‘My take is that we should not be emotional about our relationship with the US, one has to take a cold-blooded attitude in interstate relations. What we need is “a Working Relationship.”’ The US was a superpower and the only way forward is to have sustained diplomatic dialogue, and to collaborate in areas where there is convergence such as trade, energy, transport, technology and especially, education, he recommended.
The event had journalists from both international and national media organizations.
Voice of America, KYODO News, Islamic Republic News Agency, Associated Press of Pakistan, Dunya TV and Dawn were amongst several other news outlets which provided coverage to this riveting guest lecture.