- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The U.S. and Pakistan need to reset their strategic relationship, which has been “burdened” with too many expectations, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S said Wednesday.

“The current rules of engagement … leave this vital relationship too vulnerable to the enemies of peace, as well as to our own gaps in communication,” Ambassador Sherry Rehman told an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington on Wednesday.

The relationship has hit rock bottom following a series of incidents, including the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis in January last year for killing two Pakistanis; the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a U.S. commando raid in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad in May; and a NATO attack on two Pakistani border posts that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November. Mr. Davis was later released.

A reset in the relationship is necessary for several reasons, including the need to bridge the “trust deficit” gaps between the U.S. and Pakistan, Ms. Rehman said.

“Many of the gaps can be mitigated if we step back, give pause and reconstruct,” she said.

The strategic relationship “has been burdened with too many expectations and invested with an inordinately high wattage of emotion,” she added.

“Given the state of strategic flux our region faces … this is too important and too sensitive a relationship to carry this volume and scale of unregulated hyperbole.”



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