ISLAMABAD: A US House Appropriation Committee (US-HAC) delegation called on Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar and discussed issues of bilateral political and economic concerns.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Saturday said that the US delegation was led by chairman of the Sub-Committee on Defence Rodney P Frelinghuysen while the Pakistani side was led by Ishaq Dar, which also had representation from the Ministry of Defence. Ishaq Dar briefed the US-HAC delegation about the role, mandate and functioning of the Ministry of Finance under the federal government.
He underscored the government’s special emphasis on three specific areas of development focus, including “economy, energy and security” in the wider context of regional and international situation as well as sharing an update on bilateral relations.
The minister reiterated that the clearance of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) by the United States needed to be streamlined to meet regional political exigencies.
It was placed on record that Pakistan’s ongoing financial stringencies in the wake of instant security situation in the Af-Pak region needed special attention by both the countries in post-allied forces withdrawal in 2014 onwards.
It was also impressed upon the visiting US-HAC delegation that Pakistan did have noticeable concerns in the context of ongoing complex regional security situation, which primarily constituted the democratic government’s political focus for peace to be given a fair chance.
The finance minister underlined that the political government and the armed forces in Pakistan were on a same page in prioritising strategic options to curb terrorism and attain the mutually-shared goals of peace in the region.
The US delegation expressed its fullest possible understanding of untold sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in terms of loss of human life and persistent setbacks to the national economy.
It assured the Pakistani side of continuing work for supportive efforts to scale down all procedural impediments in order to streamline CSF processing.
The Pakistani side also presented a political review of Af-Pak situation in post-NATO and US forces’ withdrawal that did merit strategically worked out prudent handling, taking stock of historical political factors relating to a difficult geographical terrain in the region.
It was stressed that Pakistan and the US needed to join their efforts leading to a compact strategic deliberations process, which did have a positive political forecast resulting in political and economic stabilisation in the Af-Pak region.
The minister emphasised that both the countries needed to re-focus their strategic considerations in the region and mutually work for political and economic rehabilitation of a war-torn part of South West Asia. The democratic government in Pakistan shared its commonality of views with its US counterparts beyond 2014 in terms of bilaterally useful alliances, which also took into account all political, economic and military dimensions of a complex situation in the region, he added.
The Pakistani side further impressed upon the US delegation the significance the people of Pakistan attached with cherished moderate value system that did merit deeper understanding by the US government and the people both.
Rodney P Frelinghuysen appreciated Pakistani citizens’ social diaspora in the US, describing it entrepreneurial, dynamic and energetic, which usefully was contributing to the US political economy in all sectors of development.
He assured Ishaq Dar of US continued support that would focus mutually beneficial work for peace and stability in the Af-Pak region through a package of political and economic support that was bilaterally identified.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson also attended the meeting.
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