An interview with Rashid Siddiqui

Agha Masood Hussain

Rashid Siddiqui is a leading industrialist of Pakistan. He was also the Chairman of KATI. Siddiqui is a TV personality and a philanthropist. He gave me an exclusive interview about Pakistan-United States relations in the background of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s current visit to USA. The interview was taken before the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with President Donald Trump.

Q: How would you describe Pakistan-US relations?
A: Pakistan and USA have been enjoying good relations for the last five decades. Pakistan after 9/11 is the frontline state against terrorism which USA highly appreciates and extends its support.
Q: How about present relations with USA?
A: Frankly speaking there was a time when US and Pakistan had some misunderstanding about Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. This up and down in relations with USA did not augur well for both the countries, but now the relations between the two countries as being revived. Pakistan has been facilitating Afghan peace process.
Q: Do you think Prime Minster of Pakistan Imran Khan while meeting President Donald Trump will dispel the misunderstanding between the two countries?
A: Yes it is in the interest of two countries to revive good political and economic relations. USA has immensely helped Pakistan militarily, economically and politically in the past. If the relations are revived between the two countries, USA will help Pakistan to overcome its manifold problems, especially it might restore coalition support programme.
Q: Do you think trade between USA and Pakistan will increase after the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to USA?
A: Yes, I hope so still USA is the largest leading partner of Pakistan, our textile items are in great demand in USA. The trade between the two countries is around 7 billion US dollar.
Q: Will US President ask Imran Khan to further facilitate peace process between USA and Afghan Taliban?
A: Yes US President is praising role of Pakistan in boosting peace process in Afghanistan, as now.
Q: How would you say about Pakistan’s foreign policy?
A: The present foreign policy of Pakistan going in the right direction. However it is right time we should recognize Israel, as some Muslim countries have done. It is in the best interest of Pakistan.

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