Will Obama Change U.S. Pakistan Policy?

Anne Paterson, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, seemed to agree during a rare television interview here today.

She told Dawn News that the U.S. military was undergoing a thorough review of its policies toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, a reference to new Central Command chief David Petraeus' plan to remake policy here.

But she predicted the president-elect's policy would look similar to that of the current president.

"I think any president, any new president, would follow the same policy toward Pakistan. And the policy will be that the United States is committed to a long-term relationship with Pakistan, we want to see a stable and a prosperous Pakistan. So I don't think our policy toward Pakistan will change very much," she said.

Even the most skeptical Pakistanis hope Obama will prove her wrong. Despite their skepticism, despite their deep distrust of the United States, Pakistanis still look to the American president to help guide their government.

They hope the man with a middle name they recognize, the man who declares with the lofty rhetoric that "the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth but from the enduring power of our ideals," they hope that man can change their country for the better.

As 31-year-old Amir Ali put it, speaking about American voters: "They have once again shown -- and proved -- that USA is the land of all possibilities. ? The new elected president of USA should consider respect and dignity of all other countries."

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