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Tuesday, June 25, 2024  
18 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Past year a testament to the strength of Pak-US relationship: Blome

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says support for Pakistan’s economic success remains strong
A combination of file photos show US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome. Reuters/Twitter
A combination of file photos show US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome. Reuters/Twitter
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, US on December 14, 2022. Reuters
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, US on December 14, 2022. Reuters

A tumultuous year through which Pakistan experienced extraordinary political upheavals and that saw it perform a balancing act between Beijing and Washington has been “a testament to the strength” of the Pakistan-US relationship, US ambassador Danold Blome has said.

The ambassador and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent wishes to the people of Pakistan on the country’s 76th Independence Day on Monday.

The US embassy in Islamabad released a video message from Blome, with the ambassador congratulating the people of Pakistan on Independence Day.

“The past year has been a statement to the strength of our relationship. We worked together on health, energy and climate and to support the Pakistani people’s recovery from last year’s floods,” said Blome.

The ambassador then brought up the Green Alliance between Pakistan and the United States.

“Looking forward, the US-Pakistan Green Green Alliance framework is a transformative initiative between our two countries that will address pressing environmental challenges and create new jobs, industries, and livelihoods for our people,” he said adding “Together we will work to create a more sustainable, resilient and prosperous future.”

Support for Pakistan’s economic success

Secretary Blinken also discussed Pakistani economic prospects.

The United States support for Pakistan’s economic success remained strong, a press statement from the secretary of state said.

“On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I offer my warmest wishes to the people of Pakistan as they celebrate their Independence Day on August 14,” said the statement issued on August 13.

“As we usher in a new year of cooperation, and as Pakistan prepares to hold elections, we look forward to advancing inclusive economic growth, energy security, and promoting peace and regional stability,” it said.

“Our support for the country’s economic success remains strong. We share a commitment to democratic principles and respect for the rule of law that will continue to guide our partnership forward,” said Blinken.

It added that the US valued the 76-year-old relationship with Pakistan. “We look forward to deepening the US-Pakistan partnership to create a more prosperous future for both nations. I wish the people of Pakistan a joyous Independence Day.”

Context

Pakistan-US relationship hit its lowest ebb in March and April 2022 when the-then prime minister Imran Khan accused the United States of orchestrating his ouster through a no-confidence vote.

The vote, though planned earlier, came immediately after Khan visited Moscow on the eve of Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The PDM-led government which Imran Khan claimed was propped into power with Washington’s backing was, however, keen on reviving its relationship with China.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Beijing in November 2022 as the country sought resumption of CPEC projects. The visit put Pakistan in a tight spot as it was seen leaning towards China.

It sparked a debate that led Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to say that Pakistan was against bloc politics.

“We look forward to working with all countries to address our common challenges of development and connectivity,” he told a press conference in Islamabad in May 2023.

However, with the US Centcom chief visiting Pakistan twice in six months and Pakistan’s successfully netogiation with the IMF for a $3 billion stand-by arrangement – something one cannot expect without Washinton’s backing – the country seemed to have emerged out of diplomatic quandary.

It received Chinse Vice Premier He Lifeng in Islambad in July to mark the 10th anniversary of CPEC. Lifeng signed new MOUs with the country and was awareded Hilal-Pakistan.

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