Islamabad: US special regional envoy Marc Grossman called on Wednesday for Pakistan to support reconciliation efforts in neighbouring Afghanistan as foreign forces prepare to withdraw after ten years of war.
US and Pakistani relations have nosedived since May, when
Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed by elite US forces
in Pakistan, but Grossman appealed for Islamabad to help the
US`s Afghan exit strategy succeed.
On a visit to the Pakistani capital, Grossman highlighted
"the unique role that Pakistan must play in supporting the
reconciliation process", as Afghan leaders and the
international coalition consider talks with Taliban militants.
"Neighbours and near-neighbours of Afghanistan have this
extremely important role to play supporting not just the
Afghan-led reconciliation but the region`s economic vision as
well," said Grossman.
Pakistan remains a key US ally despite anger at the
discovery of bin Laden living near the country`s leading
military academy, while Pakistan was furious it was not
informed about the raid until after it had happened.
The US has previously chided Pakistan for playing a
destabilising role in the region due to Islamist militants
active in Afghanistan`s insurgency using safe havens across
the border in Pakistan`s tribal areas.
On Monday, Gross held talks with Pakistan President Asif
Ali Zardari, who told him the US must provide "clear terms of
engagement" in the battle against militants if the strained
ties are to improve.