LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said relations between Pakistan and the United States (US) were fast improving.
Talking to media persons here at the Alhamra Hall, the minister rejected the statement of former US ambassador Cameron Munter, saying he was not aware of the developments in Washington DC as he had retired a long time ago.
Munter had claimed that the time has come for Pakistan to work on good governance link and to “stop misappropriating funds allotted for socioeconomic development”.
Commenting on the subject, Fawad said, “Islamabad and Washington have cordial relations and the recent meetings between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strengthened the ties between the two countries.”
Payments under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), he said, had been stopped a long time ago.
Replying to a question, the minister said the government was contemplating to ease visa restrictions for 66 countries in order to promote tourism in the country.
He said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan has a vision to promote tourism in the country. He wants foreigners in large number to visit Pakistan and see its beautiful colours.”
Pakistan’s cultural festivals were a great feast to watch, he added.
To another question, the minister said the Basant festival would take place after finalisation of modalities how to make it accident-free. The government was committed to hold all the festivals, including Mela Chiraghan and Sachal Sarmast Urs, and many others which had since been abandoned, he added.
Responding to a query, Fawad said Pakistan had unfortunately been ruled by a handful group of people in the past who were not interested in improving its image. Those rulers robbed the national wealth and filled their coffers, he added.
He said the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to make the country like that of the ‘State of Madina’ was not political but a social one. He wanted to make Pakistan a state which was tolerant, where freedom of speech was encouraged and justice to all and sundry was ensured.
To a question, the minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was not facing any political challenge. The parties led by Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari had met their fate due to bad governance in their respective government during the past 10 years, he added.