Boosting Pak-US relations

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PAKISTAN’S new Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary seems to be in full gear to take up the challenge of not only mending fences with Washington but is also eyeing at strengthening ties to the mutual advantage. That is what he loudly conveyed during his interaction with Pakistani media on Friday where he pointed out that the two countries have a historic and multi-faceted relationship spanning over seven decades.
Despite many ups and downs in Pakistan-US relations, the two countries have remained tied to a closer partnership for long because of mutual advantages. In a complex and complicated world, one cannot expect all-time smooth sailing in relations and that is why differences and irritants do crop up. However, it is satisfying that the two countries have so far managed to keep their cooperation intact, rather made earnest endeavours to boost it further. For quite some time, the issue of terrorism has been both a reason for closer collaboration and difference of perception with the US always demanding Pakistan to do more and Islamabad explaining its understandable limitations of capacity and domestic constraints. There are, however, clear indications that this phase is going to be over as Pakistan has undertaken an indiscriminate action against all groups including Haqqani network, which has been a major demand of the US. Now Pakistan has complaints that the US and Afghanistan are not cooperating in elimination of remnants of terrorism as some factions continue to enjoy safe havens in the neighbouring country. Pakistan’s major success in the war against terror spark confidence about rooting out of the problem once for all provided its efforts are strengthened in terms of financial assistance, information sharing and military assistance. As the new US administration is in the process of chalking out its Afghanistan strategy, hopefully the Ambassador would have intensified interaction with those who matter to ensure that these issues are properly reflected in the policy. Pakistan and US have formed several working groups but their progress is much slower and Aizaz Chaudhary may also focus on them to give substance to mutual collaboration that would, in turn, be helpful in raising the US profile in Pakistan.