Aizaz Chaudhary (Former Foreign Secretary): Pakistan has made a good policy decision to have good terms with all great powers. We have had good ties with the US for a number of years and both countries have unanimity of views on various international and regional issues. Recently, the visit of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Washington sent positive signals in bilateral relations. We have to have good ties with all countries of the world for the sake of our national interest. It is true that the US initially complained of Pakistan’s lack of cooperation in Afghanistan, but Washington later realized Islamabad’s position that resolution to Afghan issue was only through talks. Abandoning Afghanistan at this stage will be dangerous as a vacuum will create instability and chaos in the former war torn country. Afghan people have already suffered a lot and Pakistan and all countries should work together to improve the situation in Afghanistan.
Dr. Manzoor Khan Afridi (IR Expert): Pakistan has deep rooted ties and interests with the US. There have been ups and downs in bilateral ties over the years, but in the long run they have strategic interests. Washington and Islamabad need to diversify their relations in a number of fields including economy, trade, culture and education. The US can open its market for various Pakistani products. It can also share its expertise with Pakistan in various technical industries. Many expatriates Pakistanis are living and working in the US and these relations need to be transformed into deeper ties. The US also offers scholarships to Pakistani students and these opportunities can be further increased.
Dr. A. Z. Hilali (IR Expert): Pakistan government has taken the most appropriate action by signing the Apostille Convention to assist the overseas Pakistanis. It will not only help accept and verify the documents of Pakistanis worldwide but will also facilitate the country in foreign remittances and financial transactions. It will improve the image of Pakistan that it is part of the international community and adherent to all relevant laws and conventions. It will also make the lives of overseas Pakistanis easier as they will not need to wait for longer periods of time for repeated verification of their documents from the home country.
Ahmad Kamal (Chairman, Federal Flood Commission): We need to take strong conservation measures at the local level to save water. In Islamabad, water flowing from Margalla Hills can be saved at various sites at the downhill. For Balochistan like drier areas, we need to devise a master plan for conserving water for livestock and regional fauna and flora. We should take benefit from the rains to store this precious commodity. We also need to devise framework for groundwater conservation. The best practice in the world is to save water for dry period. Our water policy says we need to conserve 10 million cubic feet of water by 2030. We need small and medium dams at the local level.