NEW YORK: Pakistan and the United States are working hard to find the “common ground” in the fight against terrorism so as to bring their relations back on track, Pakistani ambassador to the US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has said.
Speaking to New York-based Pakistani journalists, he said despite challenges, efforts were being made to rebuild the confidence level between Islamabad and Washington.
“An importance factor is that there is desire on both sides to improve their relationship,” the Pakistani envoy told reporters at Pakistan’s Consulate in New York, with Consul General Raja Ali Ejaz on his side.
“Mutual trust is necessary,” he added
While there have been ups and downs in US-Pakistan ties over the past 70 years, the two countries have always managed overcome their differences and take the partnership to a higher level, Ambassador Chaudhry said. On its part, he said, Pakistan wanted to remove all misunderstandings. In this regard, he recalled that the two countries had been in a broad-based relationship encompassing a wide range of areas of cooperation.
Referring to the recent high-level meetings between the two countries, he said that the two countries were closely engaging on the situation in the region, especially to bring about peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“We want peace in Afghanistan because Pakistan has suffered from instability in that country,” he said. But there was no military solution to the conflict and the only way to the restoration of peace in Afghanistan through a comprehensive, intra-Afghan dialogue.
The ambassador said Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations had driven militant groups out of the country, eliminating their safe havens from the country’s tribal areas. He said that Pakistani security forces were now building on these gains but challenges remain.
Citing US reports, the ambassador said that the Kabul government had no control over 43 percent of its territory. As such the ungoverned areas were open to militant groups which were now conducting terrorists in Pakistan, and this must stop.
The envoy urged Pakistani-Americans to serve as a bridge between the two countries.