Donald Lu meets Finance Minister Aurangzeb at the World Bank HQ

By Asif Ali Awan

| Published Apr 18, 2024 | 11:01 a.m.

Finance and Revenue Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb met with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State Elizabeth Horst on Wednesday at the World Bank headquarters.

During the meeting, the finance minister provided the US officials with an overview of Pakistan's reform agenda. Both sides agreed to enhance bilateral relations further.

The discussions covered various top

ics including alternative energy, agriculture, climate, and technology industry issues. Minister Aurangzeb emphasized the importance of upgrading the economic partnership between Pakistan and the US.

Additionally, Minister Aurangzeb explored investment opportunities in sectors such as IT and agriculture with the US officials. He also mentioned Pakistan's collaboration with the United States International Development Finance Corporation and Exim Bank.

Donald Lu, a seasoned foreign service officer with over 30 years of US government service, serves as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. He plays a crucial role in US diplomatic efforts in the region.

Lu gained attention in Pakistan due to his involvement in what became known as the "cipher" controversy, related to alleged diplomatic correspondence between Washington and Islamabad. This correspondence was cited by the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party as evidence of a US conspiracy to remove him from the prime minister's office. However, Washington has consistently denied these accusations. As the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Lu holds a key position in the US State Department's focus on the region.