COPAA Hosts Reception in Honor of Former Pakistan Ambassador
Pictures by YKKB
Pictures taken at the dinner hosted by COPAA in honor of former Ambassador Mr. Aziz Khan at the Shahnawaz Restaurant
The Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) hosted a dinner in honor of Mr. Aziz Khan, former Pakistan Ambassador to Malaysia, Afghanistan and India and the first Consul General of Pakistan in Los Angeles.
While serving as the Consul General in Los Angeles, Mr. Khan was very instrumental in uniting the Pakistani-American community in the greater Los Angeles area. As a diplomat, he played a crucial role in improving the Pakistan-India relationship. He was serving as the Pakistan Ambassador to India when the US and India signed the Nuclear Technology Pact in which the US agreed to sell nuclear fuel to India to run its nuclear power plants.
Several of the past Presidents of COPAA, close friends of Mr. Khan, and representatives of the Pakistani news media attended the dinner. The evening provided an opportunity to the attendees to learn from the vast experience and knowledge of Mr. Khan about the current US-India-Pakistan relationship, especially in the wake of the recent political change in Pakistan, and in which direction these relationships will be heading in the near future.
The COPAA president, Dr. Razaq Chaudhry, introduced the former ambassador and lauded Mr. Aziz Khan’s enormous services rendered to Pakistan. Addressing the guests, Mr. Khan urged various Pakistani organizations in California to work together to achieve a common goal, a goal to make Pakistan a strong democratic country.
Commenting on the current economic crises in Pakistan, he said that the present decline in foreign investment and the economic slowdown seems temporary and once the political situation stabilizes, the investors will turn back and start reinvesting in the country again. "Democracy in Pakistan is new and must be given time to take root; democracy in Pakistan can't be compared with India's democracy due to the fact that in India, democracy has never been interrupted.
"The Indian economy started off on a strong footing and due to the sound economic policies, its economy continues to grow stronger," he said.
Ambassador Khan reminded the audience that Pakistan began its journey as an independent state with a lot less than India, both in terms of established institutions and financial resources but Pakistan's economy continues to grow, though at a slower rate than we would want.
Responding to a question on the Pakistan-India relations, he said that he is very hopeful that the progress made in improving Pakistan-India relations over the past few years will continue.
On the issue of Kashmir, he said that Pakistan continues to work towards a peaceful solution to this conflict but emphasized that any solution offered must be acceptable to the Kashmiri people. He further said that despite the change in government in Pakistan, the process of dialogue between India and Pakistan will continue. On the US-India nuclear technology pack, Ambassador Khan said that the US offered India such a deal purely as an economic decision. He predicted that when Pakistan's economy becomes strong enough, not only the US but many other nuclear powers would be willing to offer Pakistan such deals.