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Pakistan-US ties to focus on terror fight, market access

Publication Date : 16-09-2012

 

As Marc Grossman, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, wrapped up his two-day visit yesterday, it became clear that in future Pak-US ties would be centred around counter-terrorism cooperation, improving market access and economic opportunities for this country and aiding democracy and civil society.

Accordingly, the two sides would be reviving related segments of the strategic dialogue in the hope of resumption of a full-spectrum dialogue.

Grossman, whose delegation included Assistant to the US President on Pakistan and Afghanistan Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Asia, Maj. Gen. John F. Newell, and senior Pentagon official Dr Peter Lavoy, was in Pakistan for preparing groundwork for Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's trip to Washington.

Khar, who will pay an official visit to the US from Sept. 18 to 22, will meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and US Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk.

It is expected that Pakistan and the US may agree on a document during Khar's Washington visit setting the terms for future cooperation.

During his meetings in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Grossman underscored the need for a clearly defined relationship in which shared interests are clearly identified.

It was long known that Khar would visit the US towards the later half of the current month, but the FO statement released at the end of Mr Grossman’s visit indicated that the two sides had agreed on outlines of the future direction in the ties.

Grossman, in his meeting with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, said Washington was working on a bilateral investment treaty to facilitate US investment in Pakistan and improved market access.

The prime minister, who suggested that US invest in the energy sector during his meeting with the special envoy, assured him that he had conveyed his desire to see an early conclusion of the treaty.

 

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