Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani said on Wednesday that flood relief cooperation could be a turning point in the relations between Pakistan and the United States and hoped it would help faster a much greater mutual understanding at people-to-people level.Talking to a private TV channel, Ambassador said that it was due to the government’s efforts that the international community has acknowledged the massive destruction of infrastructure in the recent floods. He said that United Nations called its session only on the request of the Pakistan government.It was wrong to say by some quarters that the government remained inactive in educating the international community about the intensity of the catastrophe, Haqqani said adding that he himself remained engaged in the US to attract attention of US authorities to the biggest tragedy in human history.
He said media could not notice the efforts of the government which it was making to attract attention of international community in this situation, he added.
Unfortunately the local media could not duly project the immense devastation, he said.
He said the floods have inflicted huge damages of the infrastructure and the process of reconstruction would involve huge resources and time.
Haqqani said the US government as well as the private sector were ambitious to extend maximum possible support to enable Pakistan to overcome the situation.
He said Americans have a history of aid activities and they have been found very generous during the crisis anywhere in the world.
Haqqani said international relations are not governed by emotions adding they are rather governed by national interests of nations.
Haqqani said that a number of American private companies have also pledged to extend all possible support to flood hit areas of Pakistan.
He thanked the US Administration for prompt humanitarian assistance in the flood relief operations.
He also appreciated the US support in highlighting the enormity of the calamity at the international forums.
He said that the public support in war against terror is equally important and could only be kept intact if the international community helps the Government of Pakistan to undertake the emergent measures to provide relief to ordinary people and undertake reconstruction projects in the flood affected areas.
He apprehended that any slackness in this context may provide an opportunity to the extremists to promote their destructive agenda by exploiting public miseries.
He expressed his satisfaction over the progress of Pakistan-IMF Dialogue and hoped that the ongoing negotiations would produce some positive results.
He said that still, people in both countries America and Pakistan warned that if rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts bogged down, the militant groups would try to take advantage of it.
“The real test is, can their government provide the most fundamental services? said the ambassador. Every dimension of our relationship – politics, economics, security – is going to see major shifts as a result of this historic disaster,” said Haqqani
To a question , on the statement of MQM Chief Altaf Hussain, the Ambassador Haqqani said to express point of view is right of every individual. He said giving invitation to Army would be harmful for the country and its economy.
He said America had cleared in its law that it would neither support any undemocratic move and nor provide financial support to such undemocratic set up in Pakistan.
To another question, he said that augmentation in democratic values is must for the development and prosperity of the country and its people.
Capital Talk 25 aug 2010: Pak-US relations