A strong US-Pakistan partnership can and should benefit both countries. That was the message of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, at a speech before the City Club of Cleveland last week.
Haqqani pointed out that Pakistan is a nation of 180 million consumers and is about twice the size of California.”Such a country needs goods, services, infrastructure, motor vehicles, railway wagons, passenger aircraft, a communications network, power stations, dams, bridges and roads etc,” he said.
Pakistan offers tremendous economic opportunity. Even in these difficult times many multinational US companies are doing good business in Pakistan, Haqqani said.
There were also larger political dividends to the US investment in Pakistan, the ambassador argued while remarking that Pakistan is one of the few genuine democracies in the Muslim world.
While US-Pakistan relations tend to focus on discussions of security, the fact is that broad cooperation between the two nations can have wide-ranging positive impacts. Pakistan’s economic potential remains largely untapped by American investment and ingenuity. While the security and stability of Pakistan’s democracy will continue to be a priority, we must begin to look beyond short-term goals and act on long-term opportunities that will help secure economic and social partnerships well into the future. For both countries, that’s a winning plan.