ISLAMABAD - The future of Pakistan and United States relations will depend largely on how the two erstwhile strategic partners mend their differences to evolve effective cooperation on counter terrorism, sources said on Tuesday.

Well-placed diplomatic sources told The Nation that Islamabad and Washington, now engaged in setting agenda for the next round of strategic dialogue, were engrossed to reinvigorate cooperative relationship hinged on meaningful strategy to counter terrorism. Sources privy to these developments were of the view that counter-terrorism would be the most challenging issue for the two sides struggling to reset their ties, which plunged to the lowest ebb following the US airstrikes on Salala security post in November last year, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers.

According to these sources, senior military officials will soon visit the US to discuss the counter-terrorism cooperation including new framework on intelligence-sharing.

Both Washington and Islamabad have gained some ground to move forward after Pakistan reopened the Nato land supply routes with a hope that the US would respect its territorial sovereignty.

Sources said Islamabad and Washington were also busy in finalising an agreement on Nato supplies, which would be ready before the two countries resume the strategic dialogue for durable bilateral relations.

“Most of the technical issues relating to Nato supplies have been resolved, and some details are being worked to finalize the deal,” a senior official in the Foreign Office said.

Requesting anonymity, he said other issues including drone attacks, US investment treaty and payments relating to Coalition Support Fund (CSF) were also under discussion.

As regards the agenda of strategic dialogue, it was mutually being worked out, sources said, hoping that all the issues would be resolved in the light of 35-point parliamentary recommendations that call for written agreement with the US for mutually beneficial relations.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the US is seeking enhanced security for Nato land supplies through Pakistan.

According to sources, US Ambassador Cameron Munter has taken up the issue with Senior Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik, following THE threats from the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) to stop Nato supplies.

Sources further say, the US diplomat has also held talks with the foreign secretary for effective measures to ensure security of the allied forces’ goods.