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hussain-haqqaniWASHINGTON: Islamabad's ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani has said Pakistan and the United States have a shared interest in a stable Afghanistan but the major challenge for both the countries is to find common ground by taking into account political realities within Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

He was delivering a lecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Pakistan, the ambassador said, views the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan as a significant way to move forward. "Afghanistan has its own history and its future could best be led and shaped by the people of Afghanistan," he noted.

Haqqani said Pakistan believes America would benefit more by supporting the reconciliatory approach within the Afghan society. Commenting on the current state of Pakistan-US relations, he said, that there are problems but they are not at a point, where abandonment is seen as the final answer by either side.

Pakistan's democratic government, he said, is committed to working towards elimination of terrorism at pace and time that works within its social and political order, it cannot undertake military operations that can have blowback for us without achieving our ultimate objective of defeating terror.

The diplomat hoped that Pakistan and the United States would be able to have a joint strategy for achieving the objective of creating a stableAfghanistan in a way that Pakistan concerns were also accommodated.

The ambassador, speaking at a time of serious strains in Pakistan -US ties, termed 'handling of two parallels narratives' as the biggest challenge of the bilateral relationship.

The two countries, he said, need to come out of the current "event- dictated" mode of relations.

On Pakistan's internal situation, he said continuation of democratic process only can evolve a vibrant system which is able to meet both internal and external challenges.

Democracy would enable the Pakistani nation to adopt 21st century outlook, he remarked.

Richard C Blum, Chairman Blum Capital, and husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein, while appreciating ambassador's efforts in these difficult times, said the diplomat's adroit advocacy of Pakistan's position on national and international issues is well received in Washington.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2011

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