Chairman United States’ House Appropriation Committee meets Finance Minister

Islamabad, February 14, 2014 (PPI-OT): The USA House Appropriation Committee (US-HAC) delegation led by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Defence, Mr. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen had a meeting in Ministry of Finance on issues of bilateral political and economic concerns here today. The Pakistani side was led by Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar and his team which had representation from Ministry of Defence.

The Minister for Finance briefed the US-HAC delegation about the role, mandate and functioning of Ministry of Finance under the federal government. He underscored Government of Pakistan’s special emphasis on three specific areas of development focus: “Economy, Energy and Security” in the wider context of regional and international situation as well as sharing an update on bilateral relations.

The Minister reiterated that clearance of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) from USA needed to be streamlined and quickened to meet regional political exigencies. It was placed on record that Pakistan’s ongoing financial stringencies in the wake of instant security situation in the Af-Pak Region needed special attention by both the countries in post-allied forces withdrawal in 2014 onwards.

It was impressed upon the visiting USA-HAC delegation that Pakistan did have noticeable concerns in the context of ongoing complex regional security situation which primarily constituted Pakistan’s current democratic government’s political focus for peace to be given a fair chance.

The Minister for Finance brought home to the visiting USA-HAC delegation the enormity of Pakistan’s human and economic loss in the wake of ongoing war on terror. The Finance Minister underlined that the political government and the armed forces in Pakistan are on one page in prioritizing strategic options to curb terrorism and attain the mutually-shared goals of peace in the region.

The USA delegation expressed its fullest possible understanding of untold sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in terms of loss of human life and persistent setbacks to national economy. It assured the Pakistani side to continue to work for supportive efforts to scale down all procedural impediments in order to streamline CSF processing.

Pakistani side led by Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar also presented a political review of Af-Pak situation in post-Nato and USA forces withdrawal that did merit strategically worked out prudent handling, taking stock of historical political factors relating to a difficult geographical terrain in the region. It was stressed that Pakistan and USA needed to join their efforts leading to a compact strategic deliberations process which did have a positive political forecast resulting in political and economic stabilization in Af-Pak Region.

The Minister emphasized that both the countries needed to re-focus their strategic considerations in the region and mutually work for political and economic rehabilitation of a war-torn part of South West Asia.

The present democratic government in Pakistan shared its commonality of views with its USA counterparts beyond 2014 in terms of bilaterally useful alliances which also took into account all political, economic and military dimensions of a complex situation in the region, the Minister added.

The Pakistani side further impressed upon its USA counterparts the significance the people of Pakistan attached with cherished moderate value system that did merit deeper understanding by USA Government and the people both.

Mr. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen appreciated Pakistani citizen’s social Diaspora in USA, describing it entrepreneurial, dynamic and energetic which usefully is contributing to USA’s political economy in all sectors of development.

He assured Pakistan’s Finance Minister USA’s continued support that would focus mutually beneficial work for peace and stability in the Af-Pak region through a package of political and economic support that is bilaterally identified. The Ambassador of USA to Pakistan Mr. Richard Olson also attended the meeting.

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