Sherry says Pakistan needs strategic space rather than do more calls

Advocating the case for long-term United States-Pakistan relationship, Ambassador Sherry Rehman has said rather than calls for ‘do more’, Islamabad needs to be given ‘strategic space and sympathy.’
Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States was speaking at an event of the 50-member Pakistan Caucus in the US House of Representatives. The caucus had not met for five years despite its existence in Congress.
Speaking at the two-hour long discussion on “Pakistan and the United States: The Road Ahead”, Ambassador Rehman took the opportunity to thank the United States for its friendship towards Pakistan while also laying before the legislators and their staffers, Pakistan’s priorities, concerns and apprehensions.
“We do not want to be seen as just a function of US concerns in Afghanistan. We are an important country in our own right that has a history of close friendship with the United States.”
Commenting on the trust erosion between the two countries relating often to the region, she said that“ Pakistan is seeking to build a relationship based on transparency and predictability, and there is a clear strategic shift in our calculus in the region, with proactive diplomatic engagement on both sides of the border as well as with all other regional countries. “
“We are pivoting our policy initiatives on new economic opportunities in the region. This means we seek to maximize trade and economic investments in the region as much as we continue to focus on the prospects for stability in the neighborhood.”, unlike what we routinely hear in the media.
She thanked Representatives and co-chairs Sheila Jackson Lee and Dan Burton for arranging this event.
“We are looking to be better understood and to understand better,” Sherry Rehman emphasized.
In her remarks, Ambassador Rehman also listed some of the constitutional and legislative achievements of the democratic government, at the same time thanking the US Congress for its support for restoration of democracy in Pakistan.
“While some in the US Executive Branch cooperated with dictators in Pakistan for short-term gains, the people of Pakistan have always counted on the US Congress to stand with them in their battle for democracy and human rights,” she said.

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