The United States and Pakistan continue to share a fundamental desire for stability, peace, and regional and global economic development. The U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue provides an opportunity for both countries to find common ground on these issues in spite of past differences.
In welcoming remarks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed the United States’ and Pakistan’s commitment to combatting terrorism and protecting the people of both countries. The U.S. supports Pakistan’s whole-of-government approach to eliminate the ability of militant groups to recruit, finance, and to incite violence. On regional security, both countries will continue efforts to promote stability and defeat those who foment extremism and violence.
Cooperation along Pakistan’s border remains critical, said Secretary Kerry. Pakistan’s military is engaged in ongoing missions in North Waziristan to clear out extremists and the U.S. has pledged $250 million to help rebuild the communities of persons who have been displaced by the fighting in these operations.
With regard to non-proliferation, the U.S. encourages Pakistan to follow the U.S.-Russia example of seeking to reduce its number of nuclear warheads.
Economic and development issues were also discussed at the U.S.-Pakistan dialogue. The two countries have a joint plan to expand trade over five years in a way that will help make Pakistan’s markets more attractive to foreign investors. As part of this, the U.S. is going to partner with Pakistan to expand women’s participation in the workplace.
A reliable power grid is critical to Pakistan’s economic development. That’s why the U.S. is helping Pakistan develop a more stable, sustainable and market-based energy sector. Today, the U.S. has helped add 1,750 megawatts to the country’s electric grid, benefitting nearly 26 million Pakistanis. And through the new U.S.-Pakistan Clean Energy Partnership, it may be possible to add another 3,000 megawatts from clean energy sources.
Finally, critical to Pakistan’s long-term success is cooperation with the U.S. in education, science, and technology.
As Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated during his visit here last October: “A close and enduring partnership between Pakistan and the U.S. is a strategic imperative for achieving lasting peace and stability in our region and beyond.”