Pakistan-US ties no longer hyphenated: Bilawal Bhutto

New York: Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Pakistan-US ties are no longer hyphenated with Afghanistan and India as Washington and Islamabad are discussing ways to enhance trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, media reports said.

“Not only I am presently surprised, but I am absolutely impressed by the new foreign policy approach of the US towards Pakistan,” said Bilawal while responding to a question related to Pakistan-US ties at the Wilson Centre in Washington, Express Tribune reported.

“There is also an increased feeling in our [Pak-US] interaction that we are no longer hyphenated…,” he said, as per the report. Bilawal said Pakistan and US have for a long time seen each other through the prism of Afghanistan.

“It is heartening to know that [this time] during engagements with [US officials], we just didn’t think and talk about Afghanistan. We talked about enhancing trade and economic cooperation,” he said.

Bilawal also cited a recent visit of US Special Representative on Business and Commercial Affairs, Dilawar Syed, to Pakistan, saying that bilateral ties between the two countries were improving.

“We had an incredibly pleasant conversation not only recently but from the first day I took over as foreign minister,” said Bilawal while responding to a question about his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Crisis-hit Pak spends USD 450 mn on F-16 package from US

Islamabad: While Pakistan at UNGA recently urged the international communities to help it with economic losses amid the unprecedented flooding, which is estimated to be USD 28 billion, on the other hand, it recently received F-16-related equipment from the United States worth USD 450 million.

The recent flooding in Pakistan which created havoc in the country is estimated to cause damage to the extent of USD 28 billion and an upsurge in poverty by 5 percent, indicating that nine to 12 million people might fall below the poverty line, The News International reported.

Despite this, Pakistan received F-16-related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 450 million from the US while its own people remain in dire need of food and medical assistance.

The officials estimated that 1.8 to two million jobs were lost in this flood and average inflation might touch the 23 to 25 percent mark in the current fiscal, The News International reported.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari/Facebook)

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