Munter calls for 'broader approach' for long-term U.S.-Pak bilateral ties

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 27, 2012 09:52 hrs

Former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter has called for a broader approach to fostering a long-term U.S.-Pak relationship.

Munter proposed a much greater U.S. emphasis on forging people-to-people contacts, business and educational ties, and public diplomacy.

He argued that "deeper" and "more sophisticated" ties with Pakistan would help overcome entrenched assumptions about each other's motives, reports The Dawn.

Munter discarded the view that the U.S. should adopt a policy of estrangement towards Pakistan.

He said the recent revival of Pakistani supply routes for NATO and U.S. supplies offers opportunities to advance the key U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

He said that Pakistanis blaming the U.S. for their troubles has a lot to do with their daily frustrations and lack of solution to their problems.

Contradicting common perceptions, Munter saw great scope for cooperation between the Pakistanis and Americans.

"I don't think that this is a well thought-out fundamental anti-Americanism in Pakistan, 10 per cent people approve of us and 95 per cent people care deeply what we think. So that is I think the model that gives us the chance to have a positive effect on the country," Munter said.

"This country has, I believe, more than any other country I have served in 30 years of Foreign Service, latent pro-Americanism. I have never been in a country, where I have felt that strongly," he added.

Munter said that instead of focusing too much on "bilateralness" the two countries should broaden it to include other countries that may help Pakistan overcome its problems. (ANI)

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