Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has underscored the imperative of bridging the trust-deficit and need for positive messaging on Pakistan-US relationship from both sides.The Prime Minister was talking to the new US Ambassador Cameron Phelps Munter who paid a courtesy call on him Saturday evening. The Prime Minister while welcoming the US Ambassador to Pakistan assured of his government’s complete support during his tenure in Pakistan for further expanding strategic partnership between the two countries in multidimensional fields. The Prime Minister stated that despite of havoc caused by the unprecedented flood in Pakistan’s history, his government remained determined to carrying on the fight against menace of terrorism.
He, however, called on the US to help build capacity of law enforcement agencies of Pakistan and enhance defence and intelligence sharing cooperation between the two sides to defeat the common enemy.
He said that losing this war against terrorism was not an option and Pakistan expected the US and its allies would also share the successes and failures in this process.
The Prime Minister underlined the need for increased people to people exchanges on all levels particularly frequent exchanges of parliamentary delegations to address misperception as well as to create better understanding of each other position and perspective.
The Prime Minister thanked the US for its generous assistance to help Pakistan in its flood rescue and relief efforts by noting that the US was the leading country in this regard.
He, however, stressed the need for fast tracking of Kerry Lugar Bill assistance, Coalition Support Fund’s reimbursement, legislation for ROZs and enterprise fund, and early implementation of mutually agreed action plan in all working groups in the recently held 3rd round of strategic dialogues to ease Pakistan’s economic difficulties accentuated by the flood.
He observed that these measures on the part of US would be of vital importance for the continuous across the board public and political support for the war against terrorism.
Ambassador Cameron Phelps Munter thanked the Prime Minister for receiving him and expressed his gratitude to the people and leadership of Pakistan for their warm hospitality and sentiments accorded to him since his arrival in the country.
He agreed with the Prime Minister on the imperative of building the US image among the people of Pakistan through strengthening the level of exchanges and better explanation of utilization of the US assistance on people friendly projects.
The Ambassador acknowledged that Pakistan gave great human and economic sacrifices in the war against terror and assured him that Pakistan would always be consulted and taken into confidence over US policies in this war and Afghanistan.
The Ambassador while referring to his meeting with the US Business Council in Karachi earlier in the day stated that the US corporate sector was confident of the bright future economic prospect of Pakistan and quite enthusiastic about increasing the level of investment in the country in diverse fields.
He undertook to remain in contact with Pakistan’s economic ministries and relevant authorities to deepen the commercial, economic and investment cooperation between the two sides during his tenure.
He said that forthcoming Pakistan Development Forum’s meeting in Islamabad will serve as a launching pad towards these goals.
The Ambassador while commenting on the host of points raised by the Prime Minister stated that the visit of President of Pakistan to US and the stand alone visit of President Obama next year would be helpful to make progress on these matters.