US assures Pakistan of not repeating 1989 'mistake' of abandoning country after 2014
Islamabad, Jan. 31 : The US envoy in Pakistan, Richard Olson, has assured that his country will not repeat mistakes it made in 1989 and will not disengage from the region in 2014-expected withdrawal year for the US and NATO forces from Afghanistan.
The Dawn quoted Olson, as saying that the US recognizes the mistakes of the past, and will not disengage from the region. He said that even as the US is working with Pakistan to ensure that 2014 is not a repeat of 1989, they are not myopically focused on December 2014. Instead, he added, America is hoping to see Pakistan as a region that will continue to grow in importance.
Olson was referring to the time when Pakistan played a prime role in defeating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. No sooner had the Soviets left, the US abandoned Pakistan, which was left alone to deal with the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal - armed militants, Afghan refugees, economic burn out etc.
Commenting on mutual cooperation between the two countries, Olson said the US was committed to a cooperative and long-term partnership with Pakistan, broader than any one issue and centered on areas of mutual interests.
The US relationship with Pakistan is not shaped solely by US's commitments and responsibilities in Afghanistan, he added.
Olson said the future of Afghanistan is important to the US, as it is to Pakistan. He called for the US and Pakistan to work together with purpose to facilitate a negotiated peace in Afghanistan.
Moreover, Olson also underscored that US assistance to Pakistan in energy, economic development, education, and health is a tangible sign of the United States' long-term investment in Pakistan's future.