Munter believes long-term approach to Pak-US ties vital - Pakistan Today

Munter believes long-term approach to Pak-US ties vital

Favoring long-term US-Pakistan ties, independent of the current Afghan imbroglio, former ambassador Cameron Munter has said the two countries need to break out of the stranglehold of competing narratives and traditional “bilateralness” to focus on much greater cooperation amongst civil society and make the relationship enduring.
In his first public appearance since his return to Washington at the end of a critical ambassadorial assignment in Islamabad in July, Munter saw a two-fold opportunity for improvement in ties arising from the recent reopening of Pakistani land routes for NATO supplies into Afghanistan.
One opportunity presents itself between now and the 2014 withdrawal deadline, according to Munter, when the ongoing drive to contain the al Qaeda threat and Afghanistan will likely remain top priority for Washington.
The second opportunity will present itself in the post-2014 world, when Washington will view the region in an entirely different perspective.
Munter felt the two countries still have to get to a point of “meeting of the minds” on Afghanistan for the period up to 2014, during which the Afghan situation will remain of prime interest to the US, until the last American soldier leaves that landlocked country.
But beyond 2014, he noted emphatically that Washington would have to determine which country is more important to it, with one being a country of 180 million people and possessing nuclear weapons.
Speaking at a Washington think-tank, Munter rejected the notion that the US should part ways with Pakistan, saying that kind of approach reflects “intellectual laziness” on part of the proponents.

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