Move for stronger partnership with Pakistanis this month: Hillary

December 2, 2009 3:36 pm 

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday said an initiative will be launched this month to step up efforts towards building a stronger partnership with Pakistani people.

“In about 10 days, we will be hosting the first-ever Pakistani American diaspora community effort to create a nonprofit known as the American Pakistan Foundation, to collaborate on people-to-people exchanges, cultural diplomacy, and other advocacy to build a stronger partnership with the people of Pakistan,” she said.

Addressing Business Executive for National Security Gala at a local hotel, the top American diplomat referred to enhanced assistance for Pakistan, saying the U.S. will work with Pakistan to try to provide for the energy needs, the education needs, the healthcare needs, economic development needs of Pakistan.

About President Obama’s Afghan strategy – to be announced later Tuesday – she said the President will explain the reasoning behind the decision that he will announce.

“He (Obama) will demonstrate the resolve and the commitment that he feels and that we all support in taking on the continuing threat of those who not only are fighting to destabilize Afghanistan, but beyond that, Pakistan, the larger region, and continue to assault and threaten our own country, our interests, and our values.”

She added: “We have seen in recent weeks that the stability of countries far away like Afghanistan and Pakistan is directly connected to our own national security.”

She argued it’s imperative to look at the syndicate of terrorism, which she claimed operates out of the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “If al-Qaeda, which I view as being the head of the table of this syndicate of terrorism, succeeds in maintaining its safe haven in this region, and if the Taliban succeeds in controlling parts of these countries, then terrorists will continue to use that territory to plan future attacks on us, just as they did when they plotted their horrific attacks of September the 11th. We cannot let that happen. But preventing it requires a multipronged approach.” (PNA/APP)

DCT/rsm

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