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Pak-US strategic cooperation strengthening: US Under Secretary of Defence PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Feb 16 (APP): US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy Tuesday said Pak-US strategic cooperation has been increasing and both the countries are cooperating in the war against terror.Talking to newsmen here, Michele Flournoy, who is on her maiden visit to Pakistan in this capacity said, “We are looking towards long term strategic partnership with Pakistan.”
She said both the countries have been cooperating in the war against terror and seeking strength in facing common energy of extremism and terrorism.
Michele Flournoy held meetings with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Tariq Majeed, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Air Force Chief Rao Qamar Suleman, Secretary Defence and Senate Defence Committee Chairman besides other military officials.
Referring to these meetings, she said, she held very useful, productive and effective interaction and discussed defence cooperation between the two countries.
Michele Flournoy referring to the statement of US Secretary of Defence Gates that past mistakes should not be repeated, she said, her visit to Pakistan was to improve the relations.
She said US is also serious to help Pakistan to meet its security needs and especially mentioned provision of F-16 aircraft, other military equipments and training to Pakistan Military to face the menace of terrorism.
She said, “US wants to see the region as stable and peaceful.” Appreciating the operation of Pakistan Army in Swat, Malakand, South Waziristan and other areas, she said, it has proved very helpful for the international forces fighting in Afghanistan.
Replying to a question about disbursement of funds under Coalition Support Fund to Pakistan, she said, it has been linked with the resolution of the visa issue to the US auditors.
She however said US has already been providing assistance to Pakistan and financial assistance has also been increased to meet the requirements of Pakistan Army in its fight against terrorism.
Responding to misunderstanding between the two countries, the Under Secretary of Defence for Policy said, this misunderstanding is on both sides.
She said, “Both sides need to work to talk to the public to resolve this misunderstanding.”    
Most of the Pakistanis, she said, are not aware of the support and cooperation being provided to Pakistan adding that even the Pakistani people are not aware of provision of F-16 aircraft and other military equipments.
Referring to US efforts, she said, the American government took a number of steps and made concrete efforts in the American media about potential of Pak-US relations.
Answering a question about withdrawal of the forces from the posts near Pakistan’s border in Afghanistan before the start of operation by NATO forces in Helmand, she refuted the allegations.  She explained the American General visited Pakistan and talked about the operation with Pakistan Army and operation was launched after conscious discussion with Pakistani forces.
She further said, the pushing of the taliban was not towards Pakistan, rather it was towards north and there has been strict screening in the South to avoid any infiltration of talibans to Pakistan.
Al-Qaida and Taliban, she said, are still threat to the region and the US.
Replying to another question about providing drone technology, she said, US has offered two types of such technology for surveillance without the facility of striking. She said Pakistan is now examining the offer and assured the US would provide such facility of drone technology to Pakistan.
Answering a question about Pak-India relations, she said, “US wants to see resumption of peace process between the two countries.” She said US would support the start of dialogue process.
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