Pakistan’s “historic” ties with China and efforts for closer relations with Russia will not have an adverse effect on its traditional partnership with the US, said the new ambassador to the US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
In his first interaction with the US media after assuming charge of the office this month, Chaudhry said Islamabad’s decision to reach out to other nations in the region and its “close historic relations with China should not be seen as a zero-sum game for any country”.
During the media interaction on Friday, Chaudhry said Islamabad wanted close ties with the Trump administration because of the two countries’ shared goal of defeating militant Islamic State group and Pakistan’s strategic role as “a bridge” between the US and China, the Dawn reported.
The creation of Pakistan-China economic zone was already attracting investment interest from the US and Europe, he added.
The ambassador said that Pakistan’s overtures towards Russia is aimed at preserving Islamabad’s regional interests.
Chaudhry tried to allay concerns about Pakistan-China ties but Pakistani media reports of his briefing noted that despite such clarifications, this relationship “could be seen as an affront by the Trump White House to Washington’s long-standing security and economic partnership with Pakistan,” the Dawn said.
He pointed out that there was no military solution to the Afghan problem and the only way out was to have an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political settlement.
Chaudhry said that relations with Afghanistan were of crucial importance for Islamabad as instability there had a spill-over effect on Pakistan, being an immediate neighbour.