Speaking at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, US Ambassador, Cameron Munter has said that American investors were more than willing to invest in Pakistan but were reluctant only because of the rampant corruption here. These companies had reservations about the prevailing law and order situation with cases of target killings and bomb blasts occurring, including in the main business centres of the country. He accepted that Pak-US relations currently were at the lowest ebb. Yet, he hoped for improvement in the near future. Efforts are underway between US investors and Pakistani partners to sign a mutual trade agreement.
Mr Munter advised Pakistan government to take measures to improve the internal situation and normalise relations with its neighbours. However, what Mr Munter has conveniently forgotten is that Pakistan has suffered several sanction regimes imposed by the US. This attitude has adversely affected the two-way trade and discouraged Pakistani business community to enter into joint venture with their US counterparts. There is a dire need to change the atmosphere so that the trade relations could be put back on the track. The US has been the largest trade partner of Pakistan before the 9/11 Twin Towers tragedy. Mr Munter is right when he observed that Pakistani private sector could play a vital role in improving trade relations. The two sides should de-link trade from other irritants including the issue of re-opening the Nato supply route. The Indo-China trade links could serve as a model.