Washington, DC: The US and Pakistan sought on Wednesday to reverse years of mistrust, predicting a bumpy path to counter anti-American sentiment amid tensions on issues from nuclear cooperation to security.
“It is the start of something new,” US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said at the beginning of two days of meetings with its nuclear-armed ally.
But she added: “Our countries have had our misunderstandings and disagreements in the past, and there are sure to be more disagreements in the future.”
Pakistan is an important US ally in the battle against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as Washington sends more troops to neighbouring Afghanistan to fight a war weighing heavily on US President Barack Obama’s political legacy.
“Such a partnership, we are convinced, is good for Pakistan, good for America and good for international peace, security and prosperity,” Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in his opening remarks. “Now is the time to look forward.”
The current dialogue between the nuclear-armed allies is likely to produce several signed agreements, from building dams and roads to power projects for energy-starved Pakistan, as well as additional security commitments.