American Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter Thursday said both Pakistan and United States have to work together to improve their relations and resolve the issues.
Talking to newsmen here at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) after inaugurating a photo exhibition, the ambassador said, “We are looking forward to the debate that will take place soon in the Pakistani parliament on relations with the United States.”
He said, “We have waited because we think that Pakistan requested the time to think how the relationship should go ahead.”
The ambassador said American leadership welcome those suggestions and welcome the honesty, straight forwardness and it will reciprocate with same honesty and straight forwardness so that the relationship of the two countries will be strong in the future.
Talking about President Zardari’s comments on the issue of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, the ambassador said there is a serious energy crisis in Pakistan, and out of five areas of US-Pakistan assistance, the top assistance is for energy sector.
“Millions of dollars of assistance is for energy sector and we are close with energy authority officials in Pakistan and we are committed to do what we can do to help in energy sector,” he said.
He said besides Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, there are many issues being discussed and addressed in the context of broader need of Pakistan.
“We are committed to work with our friends in Pakistan and in the long run we will make a significant contribution in this regard,” he added.
Replying to another question about any chance of apology with Pakistan on the issue of NATO attacks on Pakistani posts, the American ambassador said as Hillary Clinton and other leaders have said that what happened on November 26 is tragic, it is unintentional accident that was not planned and not done purposefully.
He said it is something that all must together try to prevent such events do not happened in future.
He said, “These kinds of tragedies, which we regret deeply, and the sorrow we feel for the soldiers who died there, should not have been died there, the tragedy we feel is deep and sincere.”
The ambassador said there is need that each one should make sure that mechanism are in place and efforts should be made that such kind of mistakes should never happen again.
Referring to the meeting between military officials from Pakistan, America and Afghanistan recently to talk about the situation of the border, he said that is the way to solve the problems.
The ambassador said, America and Pakistan are committed to trilateral process which will restore very soon to help the Afghan led process of reconciliation.
Commenting on the trilateral summit of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran later this month in Islamabad, he said this is in fact the question for Afghans to decide the need for help from their friends, either Americans, Pakistanis, or others in the region, however it is a positive step.
He said it will be very encouraging if the neigbour countries of Afghanistan will be helpful for bringing peace in Afghanistan.
A photo exhibition of Iran’s culture and heritage is already displayed at the adjoining hall at the PNCA and while commenting on the exhibition, the American ambassador said, Pakistan National Council of the Arts has been playing an important contribution to highlight the cultural heritage of many countries including Iran.
Earlier, he inaugurated the photo exhibition highlighting ten years of US support for the preservation of Pakistan’s heritage and antiquities through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. The exhibition will be open to the public through February 20.
Addressing the ceremony at PNCA, the US Ambassador said, “Cultural heritage is a crucial link to the past and teaches us who we are today.”
He said it transcends all boundaries and its study helps every one to better understand each other.
Ambassador Munter said through this assistance, the US is preserving heritage and antiquities of Pakistan and worked on 17 projects in different areas.
The Director General PNCA Tauqeer Nasir welcomed the US ambassador and said the PNCA has been making efforts to project cultural heritage of not only Pakistan but other friendly countries.
The projects that have been renovated through this American assistance include Sirkap in Texila, Mohabbat Khan Mosque in Peshawar, Mann Singh Haveli in Rohtas Fort, Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Jinnan Wali Dheri in Taxila, Gor Khatri in Peshawar, Alamgiri Gate of Lahore Fort in Lahore, Shrine of Hazrat Jalaluddin Bukhari in Uch Sharif, Medieval Manuscripts of University of Peshawar, Shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan, Tomb and Baradari Hafiz Mohammad Hayat in Gujrat, Shrine of Shah Shams Tabraiz in Multan, Shrine of Khawaja Ghulam Farid in Kot Mithan, Shrine of Hazrat Qattal in Uch Sharif, Shrine of Hazrat Musa Pak Shaheed in Multan, Sunehri Mosque in Lahore, Sheikhupura Fort in Sheikhupura.
The work on these projects was started in 2001 and completed this year and exhibition of photographs from these projects was held today at PNCA.