ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday that Pakistan was ready to sort out its fractured relationship with the US, adding the move had the backing of the armed forces.“There are some misunderstandings with the US and we are ready to resolve them,” he said after inaugurating a photo exhibition held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts to commemorate 50 years of the country`s participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
The latest denouement in ties that began with the US raid on Osama bin Laden`s compound continues despite several initiatives from both sides to halt the downslide.
After partial suspension of military aid and initiation of a bill for restrictions on civilian aid to Pakistan in the US Congress, ISI chief Gen Shuja Pasha visited Washington for mending troubled intelligence cooperation and an impression was subsequently given that the two sides were backing down from brinksmanship that had characterised their relations over the past months.
But soon afterwards the arrest of Kashmiri leader Ghulam Nabi Fai in the US for allegedly illegally lobbying for Pakistan was taken here as an indicator of changing US policy nuances towards the region.
Responding to a question about the military`s position on ties with the US, the prime minister said: “We are all on the same page.”
The military made a similar indication in ISPR`s curtain raiser on the event issued to the media: “Pakistan Army understands the cost of peace and is always prepared for any sacrifice for the sake of national as well as international peace and security.” At the core of the frayed ties is a strategic disconnect over counter-terrorism strategy and certain operational differences.
Some even see the recent military operation in Kurram Agency as a prelude to an operation in North Waziristan for which the US has been pressing hard for long.
Although military officials deny the link, they agree that the new operation has restricted the operational space for militants based in North Waziristan.
In his inaugural speech at the exhibition, the prime minister spoke about the Pakistan-US disconnect and the need for realigning strategies. He called for a `partnership approach`.
Asking the US to end blame game, he cautioned that it was unhelpful for eliminating terrorism.“There is a need to align our respective anti-terror strategies with the broad objectives to achieve results. We also expect our allies to be more sensitive to our sensibilities.”