Pakistan, US trying to repair damage caused by misgivings


pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has said that Islamabad and Washington were trying to mend fences and repair the damage caused by “misgivings’.”Talks between the two countries are continuing to end misgivings and explore possibilities of further expanding bilateral cooperation,” Dawnquoted him as saying in his address to the joint sitting of parliament at the start of the fourth parliamentary year on Wednesday. He, however, did not elaborate which “misgivings?” with the US he was referring to.The bilateral relationship between two nations is again on a slide reportedly because of American concerns about Pakistani missile programme and allegations that Islamabad was not doing enough to remove Haqqani network sanctuaries from its soil.The US Congress in May refused to allow funding of the sale of eight F-16s from the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme to Pakistan and it resultantly missed the opportunity to get the new jets. The relationship, which was already under strain following the US drone attack in Pakistan which killed Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour.While the President avoided mentioning the drone attack, he said that the recent incidents have hindered the process and that the country remained hopeful that peace efforts in Afghanistan would succeed. He also in a carefully phrased reference to relations with Kabul said that efforts were made to work with the new government for removing distrust.Talking about India, the President regretted that India had not reciprocated Pakistan’s overtures for normalisation of ties. “Despite Pakistan’s continued emphasis on dialogue, condemnation of the Pathankot incident and offer of joint investigation, the foreign secretary-level negotiations are held in abeyance, which is a matter of serious concern for us,” he said. Hussain also said that ties could improve only if New Delhi reciprocates “Pakistan’s sincere overtures in the same spirit”.

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