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US-Pak relations moving towards stability: Rehman

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 13:54

Washington: Pakistan`s Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman has said the relations between the two countries have taken an important turn to move towards a more stable trajectory.

Congratulating John Kerry after the Senate`s confirmation to his appointment as the new US Secretary of State, Rehman expressed hope the two countries will work to add more positive dimensions to their ties.

"The Pak-US relationship has also recently taken an important turn for a more stable trajectory, and we hope to build on more positives together," she said.

"We are now engaged in a full spectrum of bilateral dialogue groups at the strategic and working levels across many ministries," Rehman added.

She said Pakistan looks forward to work with Kerry and his team at a time of "challenging transitions" in the region.

Kerry, during his confirmation hearing last week, had batted strongly for US-Pak ties and had opposed any move to cut aid to Islamabad.

He had opposed any move to cut the US aid to Pakistan, noting that Islamabad`s support was "critical" for US operations in Afghanistan.

"We have had intelligence cooperation. Our folks were able to cooperate on the ground in Pakistan. That`s one of the ways we were able to get Osama bin Laden," Kerry had said, arguing that Pakistan has not got sufficient credit for the help it provided to the US in getting Osama bin Laden.

Meanwhile an eminent foreign policy expert in The Wall Street Journal has said India needs to worry with Kerry occupying the State Department, arguing that New Delhi fears he is too dovish toward Islamabad`s military-jihad complex.

"Kerry is widely viewed in Indian circles as sympathetic to Pakistan`s viewpoint. He helped broker the release of the CIA contractor Raymond Davis, arrested on suspicion of murder, and also later persuaded Pakistani officials to return parts of a US stealth helicopter that crashed during the May 2011 raid on Abbottabad," wrote Harsh Pant, professor of defence studies at King`s College, London.

Pant said the more dominant Pakistan feels in the neighbourhood, the more it may be willing to risk confrontation with India.

"Witness the recent ceasefire violations on the de-facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. In a future confrontation, Delhi may want to retaliate and it`s concerned Mr Kerry will pressure it to back off," he wrote.

"The new secretary of state will have to make major overtures to Delhi if the Obama administration wants to preserve the gains it has made with India in the last four years. And India will have to react with a greater sense of urgency," Pant wrote.


First Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 13:54

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