Working to get over obstacles with Pak: Pentagon

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 12:54

Washington: Throwing hint that the closed NATO supply routes would be reopened soon, the Pentagon on Wednesday said it is working to get over obstacles with Pakistan so as to reinvigorate its partnership with Islamabad.

"We, at the end of the day, believe that we share common interests with Pakistan. The relationship, we believe, is getting to where it needs to be, and that`s why we`re committed to ongoing dialogue not just on GLOCs (ground lines of communication) and on terrorism but across the full range of security issues that we have common interest on," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters.

Little said the US has got a team that`s been in discussions with the government of Pakistan for some time on the reopening of the ground lines of communication.

"We are hopeful that in the very near future they will be reopened. They are important supply routes for us," he said.

"We continue to work closely with the Pakistanis to renew a vibrant relationship that gets over some of the obstacles we`ve faced together in the past. On the issue of terrorism, look, this is a common concern for both the United States and Pakistan. The secretary`s been very clear on this on repeated occasion," he noted.

"The same terrorists that come after us go after Pakistanis and have been in fact responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis. So we have common cause on the issue of counter-terrorism. And our counter-terrorism cooperation does continue," Little said.

Responding to a question whether the US would apologize for the November 26 incident that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, Little remained non-committal.

"I would reiterate what we`ve said in December, and that is that we`ve expressed deep regret and extended our condolences to the Pakistani people, to the Pakistani government and of course to the families of the loved ones who were lost, and of course those who were injured in the incident as well," he said.

"So we have been clear about expressing regret for that incident. And the goal now is to press ahead, move forward and reinvigorate the relationship with our Pakistani partners," Little said.

Condemning the murder of Arsala Rahmani, a senior Afghan leader involved in peace talks, Little ruled out that this would derail the Afghan peace process.

"We condemn his murder. He was very important to efforts in Afghanistan to seek lasting peace and stability in that country," he said.

"As tragic as his murder was, we don`t believe that it will derail our efforts in Afghanistan or the efforts of the government of Afghanistan to continue to prosecute the war effort; to move along the transition process; and to, outside the military lane, reach a lasting political solution that`s in the best interests of all the people of Afghanistan," Little said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 12:54

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