WASHINGTON: The United States of America is going through many crises – a pandemic, racial divide (white supremacy and black suppression), immigration issues, and the Presidential election year.
More than 6.5 million COVID-19 cases with over 187,000 deaths have shaken the country. President Trump is speaking on open rallies with little regard for social distancing. On the other hand, Democratic Party candidate Joseph Biden is connecting people through the Internet.
Under these unsettling environment, Pakistan’s Ambassador Dr. Asad Majid Khan, invited the Pakistani journalist for an informal dinner gathering at the Embassy. Ambassador Khan said that due to the COVID-19, he could not meet the journalists in person, so it is a “Tajdeed-e-Wafa” with you, he added. He also introduced the new Press Attaché, Ms. Maliha Zargham, who took charge of her duty last month. Ms. Zargham is a development economist and has been working as a government outreach and an advocacy professional for the last 12 years.
Although it was an informal, light mood meeting, some journalists did ask questions. Replying to a question about US and Pakistan relations, Ambassador Khan said that there are signs of improvement in the relationship. He meets with US State Department officials, but these meetings are online as physical meetings are not possible these days. He highlighted the visits of two US officials.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visited Islamabad in February to boost trade and investment between the US and Pakistan. In July, US International Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler visited Islamabad. They had discussions with Pakistani officials to strengthen Pakistan’s economy.
Answering to a query related to the potential effect on the US Pakistan relations if President Trump wins the Presidential elections, Dr. Khan said that relations between the two countries are beyond party politics and liking or disliking as these relations are built on mutual trust and interests.
Earlier, Ms. Zargham and Ms. Sidra Klair welcomed the journalists from different Pakistani media.