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Pak-US ties to be based on mutual interest: Olson

November 13, 2012

Richard G. Olson - File photo
Richard G. Olson - File photo

ISLAMABAD: The United States Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson on Monday said that US wants to build a relationship with Pakistan based on mutual respect and common interests.

Talking to Pakistan Television, he said, “We acknowledge the sacrifices made by Pakistan during the decade of war on terrorism in which 40,000 people lost their lives.”

He said United States President determines foreign policy of the country and State Department along with other agencies pursues that policy.

Olson said that the US wants to enhance relations with Pakistan in various areas including economy, culture and energy.

US is assisting Pakistan in energy projects so it can generate 900 megawatts of electricity, he added.

Moreover, he said that the both countries would enhance cooperation and coordinate efforts to counter terrorism in the region.

Richard Olson said decision to conduct an operation in North Waziristan is Pakistan's internal matter.

The ambassador lauded courage of Malala Yousafzai, who stood up for the right of education for children.

Replying to a question, he said if the US received actionable intelligence, it would take action against those involved in attack on Malala Yousafzai.

Replying to another question, he said the US signed Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan.

US wants permanent peace in Afghanistan which will make the region and the world more stable and secure, he added.

He said US forces will stay in Afghanistan till 2014 and then according to Partnership Agreement US will continue to provide economic and military assistance to Afghanistan till 2024.

Furthermore, he said that Pakistan has a pivotal role during the transition phase in Afghanistan and for taking forward the process of reconciliation.

The envoy expressed grief over the killing of people in firing from Afghanistan side of the border.

He said US would give economic assistance to develop the war torn tribal areas which bore the brunt of war on terrorism.

To another question regarding blasphemous film, he said US government has nothing to do with the film and his country did not favour hate speech although freedom of speech is an intrinsic feature of the American society.