The United States wants Pakistan to play key role in stabilising Afghanistan after withdrawal in 2014, said the new Ambassador Richard Olson.“Since the international community, especially the US, does not want to see Afghanistan in the post-1989-like situation, we want Pakistan to play an important role in stabilising Afghanistan,” the new US ambassador told TheNation at a diplomatic reception Thursday night. Olson stressed the US would not repeat the mistake of 1990 when it had disengaged from the Afghanistan region.He welcomed the visit of the Afghan High Peace Council delegation to Pakistan, hoping that it would help strengthen the reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Ambassador Olson lauded Pakistan’s decision to release the Afghan Taliban, saying that Islamabad could play a vital role in the Afghan reconciliation.On challenges in rebuilding US-Pakistan bilateral relations, he said that there were short-term medium term and long-term challenges. “Some of these challenges include joint efforts to tackle extremism and terrorism, regional security and economic cooperation”, he addedHe said that he was optimistic that both Washington and Islamabad can meet challenges successfully”, Ambassador Olson added. He said that his country was prepared to assist in the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam.He pointed out that this was a costly project for which a consortium of countries and multilateral institutions would have to be formed to arrange it’s funding.He further said that the US had been helping Pakistan overcome energy crisis. “The US has helped Pakistan upgrade hydro-electricity projects to add 400MW to the national grid and more 900MW by the next year‚“ added Olson.The ambassador said the US appreciates Pakistan’s emphasis on trade-not-aid. He said expansion of trade would remain high on his priority as the US envoy to Pakistan. He said the United States wants to conclude the Bilateral Investment Treaty as soon as possible since it would support investment in both countries.  The envoy said the United States is working on a number of programmes to help expedite socio-economic development in Fata. He said their focus is on health‚ education and water.

Source: nation.com.pk