Obama, Gilani vow to rescue anti-terror alliance

President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani vow to rescue troubled anti-terror alliance.


Afp March 27, 2012

SEOUL: US President Barack Obama and Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani vowed Tuesday to rescue a troubled anti-terror alliance which almost ruptured over 10 months of mistrust and recriminations.

The leaders met on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Seoul, in the highest-level exchange between the two sides since the killing of Osama bin Laden in a clandestine US raid on Pakistani soil last May chilled ties.

More recently a new breach opened up over the mistaken killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in November in US air strikes, which prompted Islamabad to curtail American drone strikes and cut NATO supply lines into Afghanistan.

"There have been times - I think we should be candid - over the last several months where those relations have had periods of strains," Obama told reporters as the meeting opened.

"But I welcome the fact that the parliament of Pakistan is reviewing, after some extensive study, the nature of this relationship.

"I think it's important to get it right. I think it's important for us to have candid dialogue, to work through these issues."

Both leaders expressed a desire to stabilise and secure the situation in the long Afghan war, which has been beset by setbacks, including a massacre of Afghan civilians by a US soldier and attacks on NATO troops by their colleagues in the Afghan security forces.

"We are both interested in a stable and secure Afghanistan and a stable and secure region," Obama said.

Gilani said: "We are committed to fighting against extremism. We want stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"We want to work together with you," he told Obama.

Pakistani lawmakers have demanded an American apology and taxes on NATO convoys in recommendations put to parliament, to be debated as a possible precursor to reopening NATO supply lines for the Afghan war.

Obama said he believed that the parliamentary review and discussions in the United States would produce a balanced approach that respected Pakistani sovereignty and US national security.

COMMENTS (10)

US CENTCOM | 10 years ago | Reply

Dear Mohammad Ali Siddiqui,

It was our common stance against terrorism that brought us together in the WOT. We have achieved great success in fighting terrorism through our combined efforts. It is important to note that the U.S and Pakistan are two proud nations, and fully respect each other’s independence. It is not uncommon for two sovereign nations to disagree or suggest a different approach to a common mission. At the moment, it is clear that both nations are in favor of creating a better working relationship. And we are confident of achieving more success through better cooperation and communication. Our governments have continued to place the importance of defeating terrorism and stabilizing the region above all, and we certainly hope that will be the case once again. We have to keep in mind that we are fighting this war side by side. Therefore, we have to work through challenges and obstacles, and refrain from indulging in the blame game for the sake of achieving our common mission.

Maj David Nevers DET-United States Central Command www.centcom.mil/ur

j. von hettlingen | 10 years ago | Reply

No doubt Obama and Gilani have had constructive talks. The reality on the ground looks different and both leaders still have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Obama has to convince his own people to support his policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gilani has to allay the anti-American sentiments at home.

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