Foreign Minister Qureshi Addresses LA World Affairs Council
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja
Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi addresses the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC) on September 30 2009. During his talk, the Foreign Minister touched upon internal developments, role of the democratic government in fighting terrorism and extremism, Pakistan–US ties, and regional situation with special reference to Afghanistan and Pakistan-India relations.
The Foreign Minister reiterated the resolve of the democratic government of Pakistan to fight and root out the menace of terrorism and extremism from its society with the support of the international community.
Dilating upon Pakistan-United States bilateral relations, the Foreign Minister highlighted the existing “Strategic Partnership” framework and cooperative mechanism, which includes Kerry-Lugar Bill authorizing $ 1.5 billion aid to Pakistan for five years. He urged the US government to provide access to Pakistani goods by finalizing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The Foreign Minister stated that Pakistan firmly believed in promoting peace, security and development in the region. Commenting on the Afghan situation, he stated that Pakistan has all along supported the people and government of Afghanistan as a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the larger interest of the region and Pakistan. The Foreign Minister emphasized that for regional peace and stability, Pakistan favors a dialogue with India to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The Foreign Minister’s talk was attended by over 300 business leaders, investors, academicians, and people representing a wide spectrum of the US society.
Foreign Minister Qureshi was in Los Angles on a three-day official visit. During his stay he had several speaking engagements, which included leading think tanks, research institutions, interaction with media and the Pakistani-American community.