Washington DC – The Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC, held a virtual event on March 22, 2021 to commemorate Pakistan National Day. Derek Chollet, US State Department Advisor and Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of State was the guest of honor at the event.
Senator Chris Van Hollen [D-MD], Rep. Sheila Jackson [D-TX], Rep. Tom Souzzi [D-NY] and Rep. Jim Banks [R-IN] participate in the event via video message. Officials from the US State Department and members of the Pakistani American community also joined the event.
In his remarks, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan highlighted the importance of National Day in reaffirming our commitment to the ideals and visions of the nation’s founders. He said that a new and transforming Pakistan is focused on economic security, with a foreign policy geared towards providing peace and security for its people. Pakistan’s geographic location, demographic advantages, democratic orientation, rich human and natural resources, and an improved security situation allow it to become an economic and transit hub and a melting pot of global interests.
Creating peace in Afghanistan as an important convergence between the US and Pakistan, he emphasized working together to facilitate the peace process to achieve an inclusive political settlement led and owned by Afghanistan. He also highlighted Pakistan’s bid for peace against India and said the responsibility now lies with India to show seriousness in pursuing peace in the region and create an environment that allows for meaningful dialogue on all extraordinary issues including the core dispute over Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking about the Pak-US relationship, Ambassador Majeed Khan said Pakistan hoped to forge a stand-alone, broad-based and lasting partnership with the new UD administration. He said the relationship draws strength from its main proponents including strong people-to-people ties, mutually beneficial business and economic relations, shared values and principles, and shared interests in promoting peace and stability in the region. He emphasized to further enhance trade and business relations by building business-to-business relations between the two countries. He also praised the role of the Pakistani-American diaspora and their valuable contribution in providing a solid foundation for a strong Pakistan-US partnership.
Derek Chollet, US State Department Advisor and Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of State, congratulated the US Secretary of State and the American people on Pakistan National Day.
He said that the US government looked forward to working closely with Pakistan to overcome common challenges, including ending the long conflict in Afghanistan, defeating the specter of terrorism; fighting the COVID-19 pandemic; tackling climate change and deepening bilateral trade and investment relations.
Chollet also highlighted the importance of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan for the US and Pakistan. He said that close cooperation to end the war in Afghanistan and fight the specter of terrorism was the way forward to unlocking the true potential of the Pakistan-US partnership.
Senator Chris Van Hollen in his video message said that the people of Pakistan and the US share the same aspirations based on the principles of brotherhood, equality and freedom that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah dreamed of. He highlighted the importance of US-Pakistan cooperation to reach a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, which fully respects the rights of all Afghans.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Chair of the Pakistan Congress Caucus, said that Pakistan and the US have long been friends and partners who share the democratic values and aspirations of our people to live better lives and build a world of peace and prosperity. He recalls Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US in July 2019 which strengthened the close partnership between the two countries and looks forward to the opportunity to host him again in Washington.
Rep. Tom Souzzi, Co-Chair of Pakistan Causcus, and Rep. Jim Banks praised the contribution of the Pakistani-American diaspora, particularly medical professionals and health workers, for helping communities in the US during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event was broadcast live on the Embassy social media platform.