PM Gilani calls for bridging Pakistan-US trust deficit


Islamabad : Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday underscored the imperative of bridging trust deficit between Pakistan and the United States in the interest of long term strategic partnership between the two countries.

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Talking to a US delegation led by Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of Armed Services Committee at the PM House, the Prime Minister reassured the US of his government’s sincere efforts to build upon traditional cordial bilateral ties spanned over a period of 60 years.

He, however, urged the US for early disbursement of long overdue payments under Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan, provision of drone technology to Pakistan and sharing of credible and actionable intelligence with Pakistan.

He stressed for removal of Pakistan from the list of those countries for which the US has recently introduced new screening measures, adding that this would significantly improve its public image among the people of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister regretted the pursuit insinuation emanating from the US about Pakistan’s sincerity in the war against terror and mentioned Pakistan’s sacrifices in the campaign to eradicate the common enemy of terrorism.

The Prime Minister refuted misperceptions about existence of Quetta Shoora or the Afghan Taliban leadership in Pakistan and reiterated Pakistan’s desire to fence its border with Afghanistan in case the US can persuade Afghan Government to do so.

He urged the US and other major powers to use their influence on India to help resolve the Kashmir and other disputes to enable Pakistan to exclusively focus on its western border.

The Prime Minister said the military campaign was only 10 percent of the solution and added that the remaining 90 percent rested in the development of infrastructure, provision of jobs and education, health and other civic amenities to the people of FATA and other affected regions.

He hoped that the US and international community will fulfil their commitments to support Pakistan for the capacity building of its law enforcement agencies and undertake the required development in the areas in order to address the root causes of militancy.

Senator Carl Levin appreciated Pakistan’s critical and vital role as the frontline state against terrorism and lauded remarkable successes achieved by the Pakistan’s armed forces in Malakand and South Waziristan.

He also appreciated the resolve and commitment of the government in its campaign against terrorism. He said he was more optimistic than ever that Pakistan-US ties were destined to progress from strength to strength.

He assured the Prime Minister that reimbursement of Coalition Support Fund would be fast tracked. He also assured the Prime Minister of his support for increased access to Pakistan’s exports to US markets and stated that bipartisan consultations would be organized to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

Other members of the delegation included Senator Franken and Anne W. Patterson, US Ambassador in Pakistan. Senator Sughra Imam, Secretaries Finance, Defence and Foreign Affairs were also present in the meeting.