Pakistan-US Ties in
A Pakistan Link Report
Los Angeles, CA: A buoyant
and upbeat Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Foreign Minister
of Pakistan, assured a group of journalists on Friday, July
14 that US-Pakistan relations are in a “healthy state”
and the two countries are engaged “in a very diverse
dialogue” that demonstrates the multi-faceted nature
of their growing relationship.
He was briefing newsmen at the LAX Hilton at a reception
hosted in his honor by the Council of Pakistan American
Mr. Kasuri described his trip to the US as “a very
good visit”. Its purpose has been achieved as now
“there is a better understanding of the role that
Pakistan is playing as a moderate Islamic state.”
Besides Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice, the Foreign
Minister met a large number of Congressmen, think tank representatives,
and journalists during his visit. “We discussed everything,”
he said. Everyone ungrudgingly recognizes the important
role that President Musharraf and Pakistan have played in
the US war on terror, he added.
Mr. Kasuri claimed that the visit of a large number of delegations
from Pakistan to the US testified to the growing ties between
Washington and Islamabad. Dr Atta ur Rehman and the Minister
of Education will be visiting the States shortly to forge
closer collaborative links in the important fields of science,
technology and education between the two countries.
above: Glimpses of the COPAA reception in honor of
Foreign Minister Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri at the
LAX Hilton, July 14 2006. Pictures by Naushad Sarwar
The COPAA reception was a
heart-warming event with its past and present presidents,
office bearers and members vividly extending comradely support
to one another. “COPAA is now a respected and recognized
household name,” proudly claimed Mr. Hamid Malik,
Dr Farhat Zubair, the new President, recalled the history
of the organization and how post-9/11 events led to the
formation of the Council. Concerned at concerted and deliberate
attempts to malign Pakistan’s image, a group of Pakistani
Americans formed COPAA to bring “a sense of balance
among policy makers” in dealing with Islamabad. Several
seminars were held to discuss Pakistan’s policies.
Seven hundred Americans heard the Kashmir case ably presented
by Professor Stanley Wolpert for the first time, thanks
to COPAA’s sustained initiatives. “COPAA wants
to act as a bridge between Pakistan and the US,” Dr
Farhat Zubair claimed.
She also paid tributes to the past presidents and recalled
the support that COPAA had received from the late Mr. Ahmad
Adaya. “We truly, truly miss him,” she plaintively
In his brief speech on the occasion, outgoing Consul General
Noor Mohammad Jadmani paid glowing tributes to COPAA. “It
has built bridges between interfaith communities”
and has taken very, many laudable initiatives. He expressed
his gratitude to the Pakistani Americans living in Los Angeles
and described them as “a community one could count
upon.” Mr. Jadmani was warmly applauded as he concluded
his speech. He had enjoyed unbounded popularity during his
tenure: Dr Zubair described him as one of the best consul
generals in LA’s history.
Foreign Minister Kasuri was full of praise for the Pakistani-American
community and showered accolades on its members in his scintillating
address on the occasion. ”We are proud of your successes
in the US. You are a model community. Your efforts in the
political arena are equally important,” he remarked.
He exhorted the community to play its due role in giving
a fillip to Pakistan’s advances in the field of science
and technology and to benefit from the present government’s
investor-friendly policies, which, in turn, would give an
impetus to the country’s economic growth. The economy
has doubled, he told the gathering.
The Foreign Minister also touched on a number of sensitive
issues, including the Pakistan-India peace process, conditions
for Islamabad’s recognition of Israel, and the situation
on the Pak-Afghan border. “It is fair to say that
there is a fairly large peace constituency in both India
and Pakistan,” but both countries will have to take
very difficult decisions if they have to live in peace.
President Musharraf has identified the possible contours
of a Kashmir solution. A consensus seems to be emerging
in Kashmir for the first time which may lead to a solution
of the conflict – a solution that would reflect the
aspirations of the Kashmiris and be acceptable to both Pakistan
and India. The President of Pakistan has taken the initiative.
Now it is for the Indian leadership to respond and act,
Mr. Kasuri stated.
As for Israel, if it withdraws from the occupied territories,
Pakistan will be prepared to recognize it. “We are
for a viable and independent Palestine State,” Mr.
Kasuri clearly stated.
A lively question-and-answer session followed.