Islamabad: Pakistan and the US should make
concerted efforts to bridge the trust gap between them which
has the potential of diluting the common objective of
combating terror and not indulge in "blame game", Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday.
Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with Senator
Carl Levin, head of the US Senate Armed Services Committee,
and US Senator Jack Read.
Pakistan and the US should boost intelligence-sharing
and defence cooperation to fight terror, he said.
"The government of Pakistan is doing its utmost to
strengthen cooperation with the US in intelligence-sharing and
in the fields of defence to root out the menace of terrorism
and militancy from its territory and expected friendly
countries like the US to share with it credible and actionable
information rather than indulging in blame game," the premier
was quoted as saying in an official statement.
Gilani emphasised the importance of rehabilitation and
reconstruction activities in areas cleared of militants and
regretted that pledges of assistance to Pakistan still
The situation has exacerbated as Pakistan is
"constrained to divert its development budget towards the war
efforts," he said.
He cautioned that the people`s support for
Pakistan’s military operations "can dissipate unless there was
a socio-economic development and rehabilitation of the
infrastructure in the affected areas."
The US and other economic partners must realise that
time is "fast running out" for addressing the root causes of
terrorism, including poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease and
unemployment, Gilani said.
If the real reasons behind militancy are not tackled
in a timely and effective manner, the sympathies for militants
in the affected regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan will grow
and terrorists will "undermine our common aim of succeeding
against this menace," Gilani contended.
Gilani also spoke of the need for a "fair and
non-discriminatory approach" by the US in relations with
regional countries, particularly when the people and armed
forces of Pakistan are making "unparalleled sacrifices in this
He said his government expects the US to address
misperceptions and "attach the importance (to) its relations
with Pakistan that it deserved."
Peace and stability in Afghanistan is of foremost
importance to the Pakistan government as it is inextricably
linked to peace and stability in the country, he said.
Pakistan has repeatedly offered its assistance for
building Afghan institutions and providing training to the
Afghan army, police and bureaucracy, he added.
Pakistan is also ready to help the Afghan government
in its reconciliation and reintegration policy if it so
desired, Gilani said.
The Pakistan government has asked the Afghan
government to share its plans in this regard and Islamabad is
awaiting Kabul`s response, he added.
Pakistan believes all ethnic groups in Afghanistan
need to be "engaged politically to supplement efforts for
sustainable stability," Gilani said.