WASHINGTON (APP) - The US and Pakistan can overcome strains in their bilateral ties and build a sustained partnership through some key steps like bringing transparency to counterterror work, realising greater American market access for Pakistani products and easing Islamabads regional concerns with encouragement for progress towards Kashmir settlement, says a new study. Authors of the report Pakistan and the United States at a Strategic Crossroads, argue that Pakistan remains vital to counterterrorism success in the region and underscores the need for supplanting transactional nature of US-Pakistan relationship with genuine partnership based on common interests. The two nations cannot continue the patterns of the last decade, an era of transactionalism and hidden agendas cloaked in the language of a strategic partnership that represented neither a genuine partnership nor a strategic approach to mutual challenges, Peter Bergen, director at the New America Foundation and Michael Mazarr, a professor at the US National War College, wrote in the report released Thursday. The study wonders at Pakistans inherent strengths that remain at work even in the face of heavy odds and acknowledges that the oft-repeated predictions of the South Asian nations fall have time and again proven false. But, it notes, the scale of challenges facing the country cannot be discounted. Yet, the country has a lot of positives to build on. It is true that forecasts of a collapse of Pakistan have repeatedly proven wrong; and while it is difficult to know why, hard-to-measure pillars of stability counteract sources of destabilisation. Slowly accumulating positive trends get little notice amid generally negative analyses, but rising standards of living (at least until recently); a powerful grey economy, including remittances; the emergence of an independent judiciary and a free (if raucous) media; the electoral failure of radical Islamist parties; a civilian government about to complete its full term; energetic military responses to extremist movements in Swat and South Waziristan, which have involved nearly 150,000 troops and cost the Pakistani military over 3,000 combat dead; steadily growing public rejections of extremism and the Taliban; these and other realities suggest some areas of strength on which to build. Contrastingly with routine reports, which in their simplistic assessments conveniently overlook Indian context to the Afghan problem and seek to blame Islamabad for most of the ills afflicting the region - the study appears to be a comprehensive attempt to put things in the regional perspective. It draws on recommendations by Pakistani experts, who were part of the study group. Commenting on the tense state of bilateral relations in the backdrop of Raymond Davis episode and discovery of a unilateral American action against Osama bin Laden hideout in Abbottabad, the main authors contend that any further rupture in relations between the two countries would mean placing crippling constraints on American aid, ending dialogue and curtailing cooperation on attacking terrorists. Pakistan is the second most populous nation in the Muslim world and is armed with nuclear weapons. The United States cannot allow such an important country and an ally of the past three decades to become an enemy. In fact, the two nations have many interests in common. The US counterterrorism programme in South Asia would be crippled without Pakistans help. And fostering a stable and prosperous Pakistan would reduce the risks of a nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan, which has been a central goal of American statecraft since the late 1990s, co-authors Bergen and Mazaar wrote in a piece for CNN website. The study proposes a new basis for a revised yet lasting US-Pakistan partnership: a collaborative agenda for Pakistan to take its place as a major power in a modernising South Asia. This concept, which we developed together with a study group of Pakistani economists, journalists and former government officials as well as their American counterparts with considerable experience in Pakistan, calls for actions within Pakistan to build the social, political and economic basis for this vision, as well as a US commitment to support this agenda with critical actions on trade, peacemaking and technical support. One important step would be a shift from a relationship in which the US sends aid to Pakistan to one in which the emphasis is on trade that benefits both sides. Textiles constitute 60 per cent of Pakistani exports, half its manufacturing output and a third of its industrial employment. Yet Pakistani textiles make up less than 4 per cent of US textile imports. The report recommends a new effort to reduce the disproportionately high American tariffs on Pakistani textiles as well as parallel programmes to enhance US and international foreign direct investment in a range of Pakistani industries as an alternative to most US civilian aid, which theoretically could amount to as much as $1.5 billion a year if all the aid available to Pakistan was actually disbursed. Efforts to lower taxes on Pakistani textiles have foundered in the past because of opposition in Congress and from US manufacturers, but if this effort was tied to reduced US aid, it might have a better chance of being implemented. On security matters, extremism and terrorism threaten both nations. Yet there is a tendency for both sides to operate in secret, the author say, referring to support in Pakistan for militant groups that kill American soldiers in Afghanistan and US covert operations in Pakistan and drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal regions. This only sets the stage for public outrage when secret activities are revealed without being grounded in the fundamental strategic justification, the shared threat that warrants working together. Pakistani concerns about civilian casualties and infringements of their national sovereignty caused by American drones could be addressed with a more transparent drone programme, perhaps involving the public release of some drone video footage, as well as more public explication about why certain individuals have been targeted by drones, all done more clearly under Pakistani government guidance. the report proposes. Pakistan must also get its house in order economically through improvement in tax revenue collection and better growth rate. The report also recommends initiatives to accelerate trade throughout South Asia. Improved trade with India represents a natural source of potential growth for Pakistan and a way to ease tensions between the two states. In the regional perspective, the report also notes that the United States has pressed Pakistan hard on counterterrorism since 9/11 but has been less able to appeal to India for progress on key issues, notably the two countries dispute over Kashmir and other questions of Indo-Pakistani confidence building. Many issues, including trade, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Pakistans role in Afghanistan, could appear in a different light if Pakistan sensed greater US support on issues of regional security. The United States must encourage the Indian establishment, even as it does Pakistan, to build on initiatives begun during the last decade to end the Kashmir conflict. There is also a strong case for taking action on Kashmir for Kashmirs sake to reduce recurring clashes and allow Kashmiris to escape the constant menace of violence and geopolitical manoeuvring. We therefore recommend, in the context of the regional agenda suggested above and in support of recently resumed India-Pakistan dialogues, that the United States strengthen its commitment to promoting regional confidence-building measures and progress toward resolution of disputes. While a final peace in Kashmir is obviously a long-term goal and one that can only be concluded between New Delhi and Islamabad, Indias desire that no third country intervene as a mediator in Kashmir can be accommodated without precluding American efforts to positively support bilateral confidence-building measures and underwrite more visible progress on longstanding security challenges.