KARACHI, Mar. 27 (APP) - Deputy Secretary of States John D Negroponte said that the purpose of his visit was to express support for the democratic transition underway in Pakistan and reaffirm the United States’ commitment to the Pakistani people.Reading out his statement at the end of a three-day hectic visit to Pakistan at a local hotel on Thursday, he said that the United States was committed to work with all of Pakistan’s leaders on the full spectrum of bilateral issues, from fighting violent extremism to improving educational and economic opportunities.
US Assistant Secretary Richard Boucher and senior officials of US Embassy in Islamabad and US Consulate in Karachi were also present on the occasion.
“This trip is another of my periodic visits, which afford me the opportunity to meet with Pakistan’s government officials, political and military leaders, and representatives of civil society. These types of exchanges help to sustain and deepen the United States-Pakistan relationship.
“We all recognize that this is an important time in Pakistan’s history, as the new Parliament’s leadership takes office and begins to set the legislative agenda, and as the new government starts to take shape”, he noted.
“Leaders from across the Pakistani Political spectrum are working together in this process. In Islamabad I met with the President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gillani, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, Pakistan People’s Party leader Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-N leader Main Nawaz Sharif, and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani”.
“Many have asked us this week about the prospects for U.S-Pakistan relations. Our response is that the US-Pakistan Partnership remains strong, and that we envision a continued close, productive alliance that benefits both countries”, he noted.
Giving the details of his meetings with the top leaders, Negroponte said that in the months ahead, the United States was looking forward to engaging Pakistan’s new government on how best to promote economic growth and reduce poverty.
“The United States will continue to help the Pakistani people build a secure, prosperous, and free society” he added.
US Deputy Secretary said that he had held discussion on security and development aspects of bilateral relationship in Peshawar and Landi Kotal.
“We met with Khyber Political Agent Syed Amir Uddin Shah, tribal elders from Khyber Agency, 11th Corps Commander General Masood Aslam, and NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani. Our delegation also received briefings on U.S. assistance efforts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) totaling about $ 150 million per year and how our two governments are using these funds to build much-needed roads and schools,” he opined.
Negroponte said that he also held meeting with Karachi Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal, Sindh Governor Dr. Ishrat ul Ebad Khan and members of the American Business Council in the vibrant port city of Karachi, a key trading hub in the global economy.