Pakistani Ambassador Ali Siddiqui was cordially invited to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. The event is one of the world’s leading think tank for international relations and national security. Mr. Siddiqui spoke on the evolving relations and common security interests between Pakistan and the United States.
Several notable policy makers, academics and politicians attended the event. The Pakistani Ambassador engaged in a series of discussions with policy influencers and senior scholars such as Seth Jones and Daniel Runde. The conversation included issues such as the future of economic partnerships between the two nations, CPEC, and the regional connectivity at the CSIS headquarters in D.C.
The discussion on economic partnership included the future development plans for energy and agriculture as well as improving tourism in Pakistan. The CSIS host appreciated the efforts made by the Pakistani Government for reopening the Kartarpur corridor for the Sikh community.
Ambassador Siddiqui showcased the immense growth of telecommunication services in Pakistan and how many US and international companies have missed out on many beneficial investment opportunities in the telecommunication industry. He also mentioned other similar opportunities related to increased regional connectivity in Central Asia that are still available for exploration.
The discussion on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was discussed in detail. While the hosts shared their negative view of CPEC in the United States, Mr. Siddiqui addressed the common misconceptions fuelling those negative views. He stated that CPEC is also benefiting US companies such as General Electric.
Ambassador Siddiqui stated Pakistan’s tremendous economic growth and envisioned a broader Pak-US relationship that is not just limited to security interests. He stated that it was time to stop looking at Pakistan through a third-world-prism. He further added that the benefit from economic cooperation, technology exchange, profit, and shared regional interests would be in the interest of both nations.
Mr Daniel Runde stated that Pakistan is in the same league as Brazil and Indonesia in terms of population and potential, and thus a bilateral relation with the United States must encompass multidimensionality that is enjoyed by other similarly large countries.
Following the meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mr Siddiqui acknowledged the positive direction set during the summit. He also presented Pakistan’s support in the peace process in Afghanistan and the post-peace opportunities between the US and Pakistan. The CSIS event closed with a vote of thanks to the Pakistani Ambassador.