Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pakistan Wants US to "Deliver"

ISLAMABAD, March 18: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday it was time for the United States to address Pakistan’s security concerns and economic development needs.

“We have already done too much … Pakistan has done its bit, we have delivered; now it’s your (the US) turn. Start delivering,” he said at a media briefing on the upcoming US-Pakistan strategic dialogue.

The first such dialogue at the ministerial level in Washington on March 24 will cover a wide spectrum of bilateral relations.

The meeting to be co-chaired by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Qureshi would bring together Pakistani and American officials for in-depth discussions on issues of economic development, water and energy, education, communications and public diplomacy, agriculture and security.

Mr Qureshi said efforts would be made to rebuild confidence and trust and develop a long-term partnership based on mutual respect, mutual interest and shared values.

He was more categorical about Islamabad’s expectations that included a realisation of Pakistan’s concerns in “the realm of security and economic development”. Stressing the need for the US to address Pakistan’s strategic concerns, he said economic aid “cannot be a sole driver for stable strategic partnership”.

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