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Burns In Pakistan

FILE - Men replace electrical transformers outside a neighborhood in Lahore. The U.S. has brought nearly $900 million in energy assistance.

The United States remains firmly committed to a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan.

The United States remains firmly committed to a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan. "After some difficult years," said Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on his recent visit to Pakistan, "[the U.S.-Pakistan] relationship is on a positive trajectory – a trajectory we hope to not only maintain, but accelerate.”

Pakistan's leadership has undertaken courageous economic reforms and concrete steps to expand regional economic linkages. The United States has been doing its part to be as helpful as possible. This includes a number of strategic investments that have contributed to Pakistan's economic growth, from funding the construction and rehabilitation of nearly 900 kilometers of roads to nearly $900 million in energy sector assistance, which will add 1400 megawatts to Pakistan's power grid by the end of 2014.
As Pakistan continues to act on its International Monetary Fund commitments, the U.S. will look to do even more. Indeed, both governments recently met in Washington to discuss joint plans to increase trade and investment over the next five years.

Militancy continues to threaten Pakistan's revival. Few countries have paid a heavier price than Pakistan in the fight against extremism. The U.S. supports Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif's efforts to reestablish authority over all Pakistani territory in whatever way Pakistan deems appropriate, and especially urges him to sustain pressure on militant groups, deny them a safe-haven, and prevent cross-border attacks.

Countering cross-border militants and shutting down safe havens is critical not only for Pakistan's long-term peace and prosperity but also for positive relations between Pakistan and all its neighbors, including Afghanistan. The U.S. appreciates Pakistan's efforts to further Afghan-led reconciliation. The U.S. hopes to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement later this year that will enable the U.S. to train, advise, and assist Afghan forces and go after the remnants of core al-Qaeda.

"This is deeply in our interest," said Deputy Secretary Burns, "and in the interest of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the rest of South and Central Asia."

This is a moment of opportunity for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. "We share a deep stake in continuing to strengthen the foundations of our partnership," said Deputy Secretary Burns. "And we share a deep commitment to putting that partnership to work to realize our shared vision of a more peaceful and prosperous Pakistan, and a more peaceful and prosperous South Asia."