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US announces $2bn mily aid

US has no ally in WoT stronger than Pakistan: Clinton
Aid to Pakistan spanning over 5yrs subject to Congress OK
WASHINGTON: The US has announced a $2bn package of military and security aid to Pakistan on the final day of the latest Washington-Islamabad strategic talks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled the five-year deal, which is subject to Congressional approval.

Announcement of the military assistance, which would be delivered over five years from 2012 to 2016, came at the formal opening session of the third round of the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, a series of bilateral meetings that began on Wednesday.
In a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that Pakistan is facing a number of challenges but America will help the country in these difficult times.
Clinton told the press conference that President Barack Obama’s administration would ask the US Congress to approve the military assistance to complement the $7.5 billion in civilian projects it already has approved.
She promised to expedite the process regarding military aid bill in the Congress, reminding that America had already signed an energy accord with Pakistan in July regarding various water and power projects.
“More active cooperation and further projects are also on the anvil, in accordance with Pakistan-American Strategic dialogue”, she said.
“The United States has no stronger partner when it comes to counterterrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both than Pakistan,” Clinton said.
Clinton said Pakistani and US officials had “productive discussions” this week about eliminating extremist groups operating in Pakistan.
Secretary of State said that America was closely working with Pakistan Army in rehabilitation of the flood affectees, and assured that America would go to any lengths to promote its friendship and mutual ties with Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said it was time to counter naysayers who argue that Islamabad’s heart is not in the fight against the insurgents.
“Prophets of doom are back in business, painting doomsday scenarios about our alliance,” he said. “They are dead wrong.”
Qureshi urged Obama to press India for a solution to the disputed region of Kashmir, where the Muslim majority population has participated in violent protests in recent months against Indian rule.
“President Obama has always understood the importance of a Kashmir solution,” Qureshi said. “His coming visit to the region is the time to begin to redeem the pledge.” The strategic dialogue is organized into 13 working groups, ranging from water and agriculture to communications and defense.-Agencies


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