As both US and Pakistan working through their differences constructively to enhance bilateral relations, the United States of America today underlined its commitment to the people of Pakistan.
In his remarks after meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Islamabad, Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides say his visit to Pakistan is to build upon the important conversations that have taken place over the last 10 days including between President Zardari and Ambassador Grossman in Dushanbe and between President Obama with Prime Minister Gilani in Seoul.
He rieterates that as what President Obama said last week when he met Prime Minister Gilani, the US believe that it can achieve a balanced approach in a relationship that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and interests but also represents concerns about national security.
We are committed to the people of Pakistan. And, we recognize how challenging this past year has been. And, I am heartened that we are working through our differences very constructively.
“The United States shares an interest in the stability and prosperity of Pakistan and the region.” – Mr. Nides
The US shares the goal of growing its markets and increasing trade; and the desire for a stable, secure, and peaceful Afghanistan; and the belief in a strong, responsible civilian government.
“Being here today proves that a sustained engagement is the most productive way forward and a hallmark of the way in which mature democracies operate.” – Mr. Nides
He says too much is at stake for them to turn away from each other, so they must work through all of these challenges.
Mr. Nides cites the fight against violent extremism has claimed so many innocent lives, Pakistani lives in particular.
“And so, I bring a consistent message for the Pakistani people: We greatly appreciate your support and sacrifice.” – Mr. Nides
The completion of the parliamentary review offers an important opportunity to ensure the relationship is enduring, strategic, and more clearly defined, he pointed out.
He further says the United States respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and interests and desires to achieve a balanced approached in our bilateral relationship.
Although both countries have different perspectives, Mr. Nides says both will seek to find solutions that respect each others’ interests.
“I believe we will come out of this with a relationship that benefits both our nations.” – Mr. Nides
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said Pakistani and American troops are in a fight against a common enemy which is terrorism.
Both countries are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again.
America respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and is committed to working together in pursuit of shared objectives on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.
Both countries tackled the importance of taking coordinated action against terrorists who threaten Pakistan, the United States, and the region; of supporting Afghanistan’s security, stability, and efforts towards reconciliation; and of continuing to work together to advance the many other shared interests.
In October 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton 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 due to rise of terrorism.
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.
In addition, The United States of America reaffirmed its commitment to enhance and advance its bilateral relationship with Pakistan.
On his visit to Islamabad in Pakistan, Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides met Pakistani Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh to discuss about the future of their important bilateral relationship.
Both countries share interest in energy, economy and security
Both countries engaged in discussion on how they can expand and enhance economic, security and political cooperation.
One interest both countries share is the growth of their economies to create jobs and prosperity for all of their citizens.
Both countries continue to cooperate on the Kerry-Lugar-Berman funding.
Since October of 2009, both countries have provided over $2.6 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan, including more than $800 million in emergency assistance to respond to the floods and the conflict.
The United States recognizes Pakistan’s need when it comes to energy as well.
In fact, the United States has collaborated with the Pakistani Government to fund work on the Tarbela Dam, and other major energy projects.
The energy projects has expanded Pakistan’s electricity-generation capacity to over 400 megawatts to bring electricity to over 6 million Pakistanis.
By the end of 2013, both countries’ goal is to have another 900 megawatts to the national grid to provide electricity to over 10 million Pakistanis, which is critically important to the people of Pakistan, Mr. Nides stressed.
The United States also continues to sponsor the world’s largest Fulbright program in Pakistan, which brought more than 1,000 Pakistani scholars traveling to the United States since 2005.
The relationship between the United States and Pakistan is vital to US shared security and economic prosperity.
The United States continues to assert the relevance of cooperation with Pakistan to American national security.
On March 2009, President Obama, President Karzai, President Zardari, and senior members of their governments reaffirmed their commitments to a peaceful and cooperative future for Afghanistan and Pakistan and to combat the spread of extremism and terrorism.
The three countries resolved to strengthen their strategic partnership based on a shared commitment toward promoting enduring peace, security, stability and economic cooperation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They also expressed a shared desire to deepen the strategic dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan and to continue a trilateral dialogue. The United States reaffirmed its strong commitment to the strategic partnerships at the bilateral level with both Pakistan and Afghanistan.