Haqqani says Pakistan, US will work together to resolve Afghan conflict

Countering negative media portrayals of Pakistan-US relations, Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has said the two counrtries would work together toward a resolution of lingering Afghan conflict.

“I am here to confirm that Pakistan has told the United States that we will be working together on Afghanistan,” the ambassador told MSNBC in a live interview.

Haqqani brushed aside claims made in a report in The Wall Street Journal that Islamabad was asking Kabul to renounce its reliance on the United States for a solution to the decade-old conflict in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, will resolve this as allies and partners. And neither one of us needs to lie to the other,” Haqqani told the channel.

The envoy pointed out that a spate of negative reports and commentaries on the state of Pakistan-US relations are not factual.

“The (Pakistan-US) relationship is far more robust than the news reporting makes it out.”

He remarked “there are people who don’t want to believe that ISI is a partner of the CIA.”

Contrary to public perceptions, the two intelligence organizations have been the best of partners, he added.

Pakistan and the United States, who as allies and partners occasionally have differences of opinion, have been working to bridge the gap, he said.

In this respect, he cited last week’s visit by Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir’s meetings in Washington.

“We had intense meetings.” He said Marc Grossman, President Obama’s new Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, is heading to Pakistan.

“The CIA and ISI have already worked out an arrangement whereby they will be able to have measures that will enable eachother to trust each other on certain specifics. We have overcome the rough patch. The important thing is that Pakistan needs the United States and the United States needs Pakistan. We are allies, we are partners and we will work together.”

In answer to a question, he said Raymond Davis issue has been resolved.Sometimes two countries can be friends and partners and yet occasionally have disagreements and differences of opinion, the ambassador said.

“We are allies, we are partners. We do see things slightly differently because our focus is on our region not the world. The United States is a global superpower. It has a global agenda. And sometimes we disagree. And when we disagree, we work it out.”

“We want Afghanistan to be a stable state in our neighborhood. We want the United States to succeed in Afghanistan. We intend to work with the US”

The democratic government in Pakistan that took over in 2008 has come a long way in building a strategic partnership between Pakistan and the United States.

“It will take a little more time to overcome the burdern of history,” he said.