LAHORE - US Ambassador Cameron Munter said Saturday that Washington had not fixed any head money on Hafiz Saeed and it was missreported by Pakistani media.
Addressing a dinner ceremony of the American Business Forum held here on Saturday night, he said in fact the announcement was made by the Reward for Justice Programme.
“As per this announcement, the person who provides any information regarding terrorism in any country of the world and the information leads to the arrest of terrorists will be rewarded,” he added.
To a question about Pakistan-US-Afghanistan trilateral talks, he said Washington and Islamabad were supporting dialogue and the real stakeholders - Afghan government and the Taliban - would themselves resolve their issues bilaterally.
To another question, Munter observed that Hafiz Saeed was the probable suspect of Mumbai terror attacks.
Earlier, addressing the ABF ceremony, he said the United States was firmly committed to its partnership with Pakistan, a relationship built on a foundation of mutual interests, respect, and trust. An important element of that relationship was trade rather than aid.
He said the Pakistan-US commercial relations were already strong. Two-way trade was $5.4 billion in 2010. US exports to Pakistan included machinery, aircraft, health technology, motor vehicles, and cotton and yarn.
Pakistani exports to the United States included a wide variety of textile products, apparel, furniture, medical devices, leather goods, and furnishings.
In addition, the stock of US foreign direct investment (FDJ) in Pakistan was $5 17 million in 2009. The stock of Pakistani FDI in the United States was $45 million in 2009.
He said that Pakistan offered ample investment opportunities for US companies in various sectors including railway, airlines, oil arid gas exploration (onshore and offshore), food processing, fisheries, development of cool chain facilities, airports and ancillary facilities, IT and telecom infrastructure, education and training, and healthcare.
He said, “With a consumer base of more than 180 million people, a young and educated work force, and a culture of entrepreneurship, Pakistan offers countless trade and investment opportunities for US businesses.
Continued economic reforms, including greater protections for intellectual property rights (JPR) and internet freedoms, will create an environment more conducive to such trade and investment. GDP growth in Pakistan is projected at 4 per cent despite the energy obstacles the country is facing.
Once these problems are addressed, the potential for growth and investment opportunities for US businesses will only increase.”
“In the past year the mission here in Pakistan has consistently advocated on behalf of US companies that have approached the Embassy for advocacy assistance. We in the mission expect that future US investors may avail of such service when they choose to invest in Pakistan.
The American mission is also seeking to connect Pakistani and US businesses, small and large, through mechanisms such as counselling, partnering, networking, participation in trade missions, and attendance at international trade events,” he added.
President American Business Forum (ABF) Salim Ghori said the ABF member companies would invest millions of dollars in the next two years in Pakistan, subject to political stability.
He said the US had a huge stake in Pakistani businesses landscape. They had invested hundreds of millions in Pakistan because they believed in Pakistan’s potential. In the next two years 350 to USD 400 million will be invested in Pakistan by ABF member companies, he added.