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The extremists committed to destroying what is dear to Americans are just as committed to destroying what is dear to the people of Pakistan. So this is our struggle as well, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a recent press conference in Islamabad:
"We feel very strongly ... that the extremists and the terrorists who deploy violence have to be defeated wherever they are. ... These attacks on innocent people are cowardly. ... If the people behind these attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let them join the political process. Let them come forth to the people of Pakistan in this democracy and make their case ... that they have all the answers and that the rest of us who are people of faith have none. Let them make that case in the political arena and see how far they would get."
To help in this continuing effort, Secretary of State Clinton pledged $103.5 million in U.S. support for Pakistan’s priority law enforcement and border security programs, bringing the total for 2009 to $147.2 million.
But our relationship with Pakistan goes far beyond security, said Secretary of State Clinton. The United States will invest in a better future for the people of Pakistan. Secretary Clinton announced that the U.S. is providing $125 million to fund the first phase of a program to repair and upgrade Pakistan’s energy infrastructure, outlining six projects that will “help repair facilities, improve local energy providers, and promote energy efficiency.”
As part of a 1 billion dollar pledge made at the April 2009 Tokyo Donors’ Conference, the U.S. is contributing $45 million to Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission and $85 million to the Benazir Bhutto Income Support Program that assists Pakistani women and families in need. In addition, the U.S has pledged $55 million for humanitarian assistance to Pakistanis displaced by the fighting.
"The terrorists and extremists are very good at destroying, but they cannot build. That is where we have an advantage," said Secretary Clinton. "Our two nations can work more closely together on behalf of the people of Pakistan as you continue your journey toward an effective, responsive, and enduring democracy."