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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The USA Is Making Diplomatic Efforts To Win Back Pakistan's Cooperation

Amid heightened tension, the United States is making hectic diplomatic efforts to win back Pakistan’s crucial cooperation for secured NATO supplies as well as safe withdrawal of its overstretched troops from Afghanistan by 2014.
This has transpired from flurry of interactions of the senior US military officials and diplomats with Pakistani authorities ostensibly as a damage control exercise after some key US government functionaries launched efforts to make Pakistan scapegoat largely to cover up its decade-long failure in Afghanistan.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter with same agenda met with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir on Monday and exchanged views on ways and means to strengthen the relations with Pakistan.
Confirming the development, US Embassy spokesperson Mark Stroh told the reporter that US pays special attention to continue its wide ranging and cooperative relationship with Pakistan.
Without going into specific issues, the Ambassador Munter had discussed with Salman Bashir, the spokesperson said that the United States values its special relations with Pakistan.
He was of the view that there were many common grounds both the estranged partners in the war against terror could continue their cooperation.
In response to a question relating to the statement of US Senator Lindsey Graham that ‘all options are on table against Pakistan’, Stroh said that this was in line with the statements of other US functionaries that Pakistan needs to take actions against those using its soil and attacking US forces in Afghanistan. “The US reserves the right to take action when its troops are targeted and attacked in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said without naming Haqqani Network.
Although there was no Foreign Office input about the meeting, it was learnt that Salman Bashir told the US envoy that any aggression or unilateral action against Pakistan would be disastrous for both the countries. He also emphasized the need for bringing an end to statements allegations from both sides to arrest the situation going from bad to worst and agreed on further engagement to address mutual challenges.
The sources said that Munter during the meeting spoke at length on the need for increasing cooperation in counter terrorism.
However, some sources were of the view that US has been seeking Pakistan’s cooperation in a meaningful engagement with some of the resistance groups in Afghanistan to ensure safe withdrawal of international troops.
This stems from the US fears that rate of casualties of its troops would increase manifold in the course of withdrawal as pace of insurgency in Afghanistan was on gradual increase. These notions have been reinforced after the recent attacks on the US Embassy in Kabul as well as the local NATO Headquarters. Moreover, the US is seeking to ensure that NATO/ISAF logistic supplies through Pakistan remain unhindered till withdrawal of the international forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

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