U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today stressed that U.S. relationship with Pakistan is critical to the ongoing stability and peace of the region, as well as the fight against terrorism.
At the question and answer segment of at the Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series, Ms. Clinton said that it is important to take note that Pakistanis have paid a much greater price in the war against terrorism and in the violence perpetrated on them over the last 10 years.
“Nearly 30,000 people have been killed – civilians and military, scores of bombing attacks all over the country in places from mosques to markets to universities to police stations.” -Ms. Clinton
She highlighted that the Pakistani people are trying to navigate through a very difficult security environment. She said the Pakistanis have a great stake in trying to end terrorism against themselves. She said they also bring to their fight against terrorism deep concerns about the relationship with India, about what happens in Afghanistan after U.S. and coalition troops draw down, what happens in the greater region that could destabilize them further.
She said it’s a challenging position for the Americans to be in and to advocate.
“So I think that we are pressing and pushing on every lever that we have in the relationship, and we have to be effective in trying to achieve our strategic goals, which is to prevent any attacks against us emanating from Pakistan, as well as to try to help stabilize Pakistan against this internal threat, and to create the best possible circumstances for Afghanistan to be able to have control over its own future.” -Ms. Clinton