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Ambassador Calls for 'Renewal' Amid US-Pakistan Tensions

VOA News April 11, 2011

The U.S. ambassador to Islamabad is calling for a renewal in relations between the United States and Pakistan, amid recent tensions between the two countries.

Cameron Munter acknowledged Monday that bilateral ties needed to be improved following the case of a CIA contractor detained in Pakistan for murder.

Raymond Davis was accused of killing two Pakistanis in the eastern city of Lahore, an incident that stirred anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. The U.S. said Davis had diplomatic immunity and acted in self-defense. The American was eventually released after victims' families accepted compensation.

Ambassador Munter told Pakistani academics at the Institute of Strategic Studies Monday that the United States wants to see a stable and prosperous Pakistan.

His comments come as Pakistan's intelligence chief visits Washington for talks with his American counterpart.

General Ahmed Shuja Pasha is expected to meet with CIA Director Leon Panetta on Monday to discuss regional security, but few other details of talks are expected to be released.

The head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency is in the United States a week after a White House report alleged Pakistan had no clear path toward defeating Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Britain's Guardian newspaper quoted Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari as saying the U.S. war in Afghanistan is destabilizing neighboring Pakistan and its efforts to strengthen democratic institutions.

In the interview, President Zardari also suggests that some U.S. lawmakers and the U.S. media have limited knowledge of Pakistan. He was responding to a the White House report criticizing Pakistan's counterterrorism efforts.



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