US wants secure, moderate and prosperous Pakistan: Rocca
WASHINGTON: US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca on Saturday said, “America’s goal is a Pakistan that is secure, prosperous and a moderate democracy contributing to growth and stability in the region.”
Talking to the faculty and students of University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Advanced Study of India, she said, “To achieve those goals, we are committed for the long term to broaden and deepen our relationship with Pakistan.” She said Pakistan was helping the US remove the threat of terrorism.
The US, she said, had a long and, at times, complicated relationship with Pakistan — a country that faced many political and economic challenges. Ms Rocca said since September 2001, Pakistan had been a key ally in the global war on terrorism. “The Pakistani government recognises that terrorists are as much a threat to the Pakistani people as to anyone — many innocent Pakistanis have been killed in terrorist attacks in the last few years.”
She said, “Pakistan’s cooperation in the global war on terror has had costs for the Pakistani government and for the country’s social fabric. This year President George Bush will be asking Congress to fund the first $600 million of a five-year $3 billion assistance initiative for Pakistan,” she added. “These funds, and others already in train, will help Pakistan better prepare its forces for the fight against terrorism, against narcotics smugglers and against criminals, with equipment such as vehicles, helicopters, communications and surveillance equipment and fingerprinting systems. But we also want to help the Pakistani people. Consequently, we are financing 800 kilometres of roads, including in the historically off-limits tribal areas, refurbishing schools, building wells and looking at ways to bring fresh water to those who need it,” Ms Rocca said. —APP