By Ali Imran
WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 : Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani has assumed charge of position and looks forward to building on recent positive momentum towards bolstering the wide-ranging relationship between the two countries.
Ambassador Jilani, a seasoned career diplomat, says he would strive to build on the goodwill generated in the United States after Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington, where his government is seen as committed and focused on addressing issues facing the country.
“So I will have the advantage to build on that goodwill and carry forward the relationship between the two countries,” he said in brief remarks.
Jilani, who was serving as Foreign Secretary until his appointment as ambassador to Washington this month, underlined positivity witnessed recently in the bilateral relationship with the meeting of working groups under Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Partnership. As Pakistan’s top diplomat in Washington, Jilani will emphasize expanding trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and the United States. He also noted that the two sides hold discussions to resolve issues between them.
Ambassador Jilani begins his assignment at an important time for U.S.-Pakistan relations, which have seen several ups and downs.
The two countries have worked closely for peace and security efforts in the region and in the fight against al-Qaeda since 9/11 terrorist attacks. The U.S.-Pakistan cooperation is considered key to stability in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is drawing down militarily to conclude the longest American war by the end of 2014. Pakistan also provides vital overland routes for movement of NATO cargo into and out of landlocked Afghanistan.
Analysts believe that Pakistan and the United States must soon resolve the drone dispute and proceed with complementary steps to improve their bilateral relationship, particularly in the field of investment and trade in order to put the ties on lasting foundations.