Pakistani-Americans Key to Promoting Ties: Haqqani

Washington , DC : Pakistani-Americans can play a key role in promoting understanding and trust between Pakistan and the United States by influencing Washington’s policy-making process, Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani told a gathering on the Capitol Hill.

Speaking at an advocacy day event organized by the Pakistani-American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC), the ambassador urged structured efforts towards strengthening the important relationship.

In this respect, Haqqani particularly cited the need for increased interaction between members of the community and American lawmakers at both grassroots level and in the legislative process in Washington.

‘Pakistani-Americans can help bridge the trust gap between the two countries, who both now desire to foster a long-term partnership,’ he stated at the day-long event, which explored the role of the community in enhancing Pakistan-US partnership.

Haqqani applauded the Pakistani-Americans for their distinguished services in some highly competitive fields in the United States like medicine and information technology.

However, he drew the attention of the Pakistani community to the importance of having a larger presence in thinking professions and in the process becoming part of the mainstream academia, media, research-intensive institutions and think tanks and various sectors of economy. Availing opportunities in these fields will help amplify the voice of the community and forge a better understanding of Pakistan and challenges facing the Pakistani nation, he added. The envoy underscored that Pakistan ‘will never compromise its sovereignty and has some genuine security concerns’ in the region.

He also spoke about diplomatic efforts the embassy made to tone down language and strict conditions proposed in the original draft of the House of Representatives version of the Kerry-Lugar Act.

A host of American lawmakers spoke at the invitation of PAKPAC leaders and members. These included Senator Bob Casey(D-PA), Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-Maryland), Senator Ron Wyden( D-OR), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, co-chair of the Pakistani-American caucus, Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN), Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), Congressman Gary Peters (D-MI), Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

Besides, US officials from the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, USAID, and staffers of lawmakers attended the event.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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