On a recent visit to Pakistan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the importance of U.S.-Pakistan cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
Among Pakistan's civilian and military leadership, said Secretary Kerry, "there is a strong consensus about the importance of combating all forms of terrorism. Terror groups like the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e Tayyiba, and other groups continue to pose a threat to Pakistan, to its neighbors, and to the United States.
"All of us," said Secretary Kerry, "have a responsibility to ensure that these groups do not gain a foothold, but rather, are pushed back into the recesses of Pakistan memory. This task is obviously far from finished,” he said.
“Just as we stand with the people of France at this difficult hour,” said Secretary Kerry, “America will continue to stand with the people of Pakistan as they build a future that is free from the threat of violent extremism.”
The United States continues to expand its ties with Pakistan across a broad range of issues including trade. In May 2014, both countries concluded a MOU on promoting women's economic empowerment. Annual two-way trade with Pakistan has already reached more than 5 billion dollars, and there is room to grow.
To find further opportunities, the two countries are organizing the U.S.-Pakistan Economic Partnership Week in Islamabad in March.
For the last five years, the U.S. has worked with Pakistan to improve electricity delivery, which has resulted in adding 1,400 megawatts to the power grid in Pakistan. That's enough electricity for more than 16 million Pakistani citizens. The U.S. is supporting new transmission and renewable energy projects.
In addition, the U.S. has partnered with Pakistan on infrastructure investments. The U.S. funded the construction and rehabilitation of more than 1,000 kilometers of roads, including the four main trade routes to Afghanistan.
The U.S. is also working with Pakistan to promote regional cooperation on counterterrorism and trade. The U.S. welcomes the renewed cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan to address the region's most important issues.
A strong U.S.-Pakistan partnership is key to overcoming the toughest problems, including the terrorist threat. "It is vital," said Secretary Kerry, "that we not underestimate what can be accomplished by building trust, expanding ties, and acting together in common purpose."