US-Pakistan ties should go beyond terrorism: Gilani

August 24th, 2011 - 1:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 24 (IANS) Relations between the US and Pakistan should go beyond terrorism and cover areas of bilateral relations on a durable basis, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

Talking to US Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee here, Gilani said Pakistan had suffered in the fight against terrorism and rendered more sacrifices in terms of civilians and troops’ fatalities than the coalition partners put together, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

He said: “The success of military operation in Malakand Division stands out because the nation not only defeated the terrorists but also managed the return of more than two million IDPs (internally displaced persons) within two months to their homes with honour and dignity.”

Ties between Washington and Islamabad were hit after US undercover agent, Raymond Davis, fatally shot two Pakistanis in Lahore in February.

The ties were further strained after the May 2 killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad by US commandos.

The senator underlined the importance of bringing US-Pakistan relations on an even keel because both the countries were fighting the common enemy.

Gilani said Pakistan desired a sovereign, independent, and peaceful Afghanistan and supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation in that country.

He said: “One wonders how terrorists dare go to Afghanistan without being spotted and eliminated by the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and NATO forces which are equipped with the most advanced weapons.”

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