ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and the United States are actively wrapping up proposals regarding the landmark bilateral investment treaty (BIT)that Islamabad and Washington would sign next month, diplomatic sources said on Saturday.
“There is very little paperwork left in concluding the draft of the bilateral investment treaty both the countries will sign in September”, a senior US Embassy diplomat told The Nation.
He said both the US and Pakistan would sign the treaty during the UN General Assembly session scheduled for next month when Pakistani leaders would also be there to attend the session. Pakistan has been demanding excess to the US markets to discourage aid programmes in country’s long economic interest and the bilateral investment treaty would provide foundation for future cooperation to promote economic and trade relations between the two countries.
“Pakistan is actively working to conclude the work on the proposed draft about bilateral investment treaty,” a senior Pakistani diplomat confirmed saying the treaty would be signed in September.
In a related development, the United States and Pakistan are struggling to revive the Strategic Dialogue that remains suspended since October 2010. According to sources, an important announcement would be made in this respect during the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to the United States. President Zardari would lead a high level delegation including Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly session.
Pakistan and the United States had set up 11 core groups under the Strategic Dialogue process, which include Economy and Trade, Energy, Defence, Security, Strategic Stability and Non-Proliferation, Law Enforcement and Counter-terrorism, Science and Technology, Education, Agriculture, Water, Health and Communication and Public Diplomacy.