Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and United States President Joe Biden had a “forward-looking and constructive” conversation at the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York.
In an exclusive interview with WION’s Anas Mallick, Rabbani said that the two countries have “solid building blocks” for a good relationship and that is something that both leaders want at the moment.
“As far as the conversation between the PM and president is concerned, it was good, forward-looking and constructive. Our relationship with the US, currently it is dehyphenated from any other relationship and we would want it to be further dehyphenated from any regional, or political that continues. It is starting out as shore footing, so we don’t wanna rush this and let it be a hostage for one event and other. There are solid building blocks in the current scenario of the US-Pakistan relationship,” she said.
Rabbani also spoke about the devastation that the recent floods caused in Pakistan. Millions of people were displaced from their homes while the natural disaster ended up claiming more than 1500 lives.
“The proportion of the calamity is so huge. It so extraordinary people can’t ignore it. I think this is God’s early warning system that things are not going to remain the same. We are soon to be going out of options. We used to talk about mitigation as an option but today mitigation doesn’t seem to be a viable solution. Now the current window open is adaptation – it seems we are keen to close this window as well. If you allow that window to be closed and we don’t get our acts together, currently there’s a lot of talk on adaptation but when we come to serious windows of financing that are available, serious adaptation projects which have priorities, I don’t see any which are viable or deliverable,” she said.
The United Nations issued a flash appeal for $160 million to help Pakistan in the aftermath of the floods. Rabbani said that the flash appeal was extremely helpful and they are now focused on rebuilding.
“UN goes into the process in a systematic way and when the need arises. The Flash appeal process built in requires revisions as and when the need arises. However, my appeal is less the flash appeal and more focused on rebuilding,” she explained.