Ambassador Sherry Rehman's Dinner in honour of Ambassador Marc Grossman – December 06, 2012

Ambassador Sherry Rehman's Dinner in honour of Ambassador Marc Grossman – December 06, 2012

Remarks by Ambassador Rehman at her farewell Dinner in honor of Ambassador Marc Grossman

6 December 2012

Thank you for joining us at the Pakistan Embassy residence at such short notice to honor one of America’s finest diplomats, Ambassador Marc Grossman .

In his capacity as the US Special Representative of Afghanistan and Pakistan he has acquitted himself with exceptional grace and commitment.
We all would agree that he has had to deal with a period of unprecedented crisis in the Pak-US dynamic.

As someone with an ear to the Washington ground, I think I can say with some confidence that Marc Grossman has justified every bit of trust his principals reposed in him, and I can certainly speak for my principals to say that we feel the same way too.

I remember very clearly when I first called on Amb Grossman at the State Department, almost a year ago, when I first came to Washington. The bilateral relationship was in a mode of recurring crisis. It was strewn with everyday minefields and weighed down with difficult baggage from 2011.

He was quick to agree with me that the task ahead was challenging, but he also agreed that we could navigate it to a zone of steady progress and stability, instead of the cycles of highs and lows it found itself in.

I realized very quickly, after the red eye nature of the job kept us awake on phone calls  at all times of the day and night, that I was very fortunate to find friends such as Marc Grossman, and others in his team, who were equally dedicated to steering the relationship, with the assistance of my own committed and excellent team, in a positive direction.

With crossed fingers, and a call to temperance, I would like to think that we mostly succeeded.

If there is presently an air of optimism and hope about the future of this critical relationship, a good part of the credit goes to Ambassador Grossman.

I take this opportunity to say a few words about Pakistan-US relationship and the kind of equilibrium we are trying to build in a relationship often rocked by capricious weather.

In the renewal of this important relationship, I see the two countries engaging as democracies, sharing not only the tangibles of geo-politics and economic and commercial interactions, but the intangibles of shared values. I know that I speak for President Zardari as well when we say that the future successes of core foreign policy agendas are pivoted as much or more on investing in societies and people, as they are on engaging with states.
Our task together must be to look to enhancing and broadening our bilateral relationship by creating opportunities for trade and business cooperation, building stronger ties through creative public communication and student exchanges, and by fostering a deeper understanding of the multiple transitions at least our society and political landscape is going through.

Amb Grossman has shared this vision of a relationship based on trust and economic partnership and worked very hard indeed at making it happen.
The five working groups that will complete their joint deliberations by middle of this month, the constant strategic interface on grasping at opportunities for a secure and stable Afghanistan and Pakistan, all took a lot of travelling between offices, countries, even continents.
Nothing stood in his way. He did even not let a broken foot deter him.

In recounting this success, opening a new door when another one closed, Marc Grossman’s name will rank as a gold star among those who helped this vision become a reality.

I am sure I speak for all of us here that it was a pleasure working with him and an honor to call him a friend.

With this small tribute I present to Ambassador Mark Grossman a token of the Pakistan Embassy’s real appreciation for your service. We know that wherever you go next, you will remain a friend of Pakistan, and that is the relationship our people  value the most.

It has been a pleasure to work with you, and an honour to be your friend.

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