U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi recently chaired the third U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. At this meeting, the leaders discussed new agreements to cooperate on projects ranging from building dams and water storage systems to expanding national radio coverage.
In the wake of devastating floods, there is much rebuilding to be done in Pakistan. The U.S. is accelerating its efforts to help support relief and recovery efforts for people whose houses and businesses have been destroyed so that they can rebuild before the onset of winter.
The U.S. worked closely with the Pakistani government and military, providing air support that, as of October 20th, had rescued over 25,000 Pakistanis stranded by floods and delivered over 18 million pounds of supplies, in addition to the $390,000 in relief and recovery aid the U.S. provided.
Since the last Strategic Dialogue meeting in July, each of the 13 working groups has finalized a blueprint for cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan. These blueprints include critical projects and programs such as plans to immunize 90 percent of Pakistani children against disease, to improve the reliability of the electricity supply to the Pakistani people, and to distribute wheat and vegetable seed to help half a million farming families get back on their feet.
The U.S. and Pakistan will soon complete a public private-partnership that will build a 150 megawatt wind farm in Sindh Province. As these projects come on-line, the U.S. will look to the Pakistani government to implement a systematic reform of its energy sector. Pakistan presented its plan to proceed with meaningful economic reform that will mobilize Pakistan's own resources in support of reconstruction and long-term development efforts.
The U.S., said Secretary Clinton, "has no stronger partner when it comes to counterterrorism efforts against extremists ... than Pakistan." To support these efforts the U.S. will request $2 billion in foreign military assistance from Congress for 2012 through 2016.
Pakistan is tackling the toughest problems. "Nothing is being swept under the rug," said Secretary Clinton. The United States is impressed by the quality of engagement from both the government and the people of Pakistan.