Islamabad—US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that America would enhance its relations with Pakistan’s civil society to ensure that help and assistance reaches the grass roots level for the benefit of the common man.
She said this while talking to a group of elders from Wana and other parts of Frontier regions here on Friday.
She held an open-air talk with representatives from the country’s northwest province which borders Afghanistan , and assured that US help and assistance would be ensured to reach the people at lowest level.
Focusing on her efforts in trying to strengthen the civilian government and countering rising anti-Americanism, she said the main emphasis from the United States will be to have more interaction with the representatives of the civil society, common man and ordinary citizen.
Hillary said, “So many people in Pakistan think we are not helping at all, and that’s incredibly frustrating for us.” “We’re changing our aid approach because we need to do things that are highly visible in order to restore the awareness,” she said.
Hillary welcomed the prospects of negotiations, and defended the US-led operation in Afghanistan that ousted the Taliban regime after it refused to hand over Al-Qaeda leaders in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
She said, US is fully aware of the difficulties and problems being faced by the people living in NWFP and other adjoining areas including Waziristan.
She added that US provided help and assistance to the IDPs, and was ready to do more for them. “We are willing to work together as partners with Pakistani community despite having difference of opinion on many things,” she said.
On the question of increasing help for education, she highlighted various projects, and added that US would provide $25 million more for higher education.
“We will work directly with local people and NGOs to ensure that the assistance could reach to the public in real terms,” she said.
Hillary said, no plan could be successful without the involvement of people and their elected representatives.
She said, US provided a lot of money to Pakistan and after spending billions of dollars there was no impact among the people here. Secretary of State said, American leadership was sincere to build people to people relations in Pakistan.
She said, US had been watching the situation in Waziristan and fate of displaced persons. She added, the US is fully aware of the situation in FATA and other areas.
She said, there is a great deal of interest and commitment in President Obama administration and it was sincere to provide assistance.
The meeting held at Pakistan National Council of the Arts was attended by Afrasiab Khattak, Farhana Jehangir, Shazia Abbasi, Pir Sabir Shah, Munir Aurakzai MNA, Mufti Kafayat Ullah, Dr. Farooq Khan, Dr. Begum Jan, Faisal Khan, Sattar Ayaz and Habib Ullah as representatives from FATA, WANA, Swat, D.I. Khan and other areas disturbed due to military operation.
They presented different proposals and suggestions for the improvement of the troubled areas, and to fight the menace of extremism and terrorism.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted existence of trust deficit with Pakistan at the government and military level. She said we want to bring an end to this deficit by sitting together and ironing out all our reservations.
Talking to senior female journalists on Friday, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that on Thursday that her meeting with the Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and DG ISPR that lasted for more than 30 minutes was quite fruitful and during the course of the meeting General Kayani vowed to strengthen democracy.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that US will keep on supporting Pakistan Army thick and thin adding it wants strong and stable relations with it.
In response to a question regarding Kerry Lugar Bill, she said Pakistan itself would give certificate of nuclear proliferation adding if we give aid then we ought to keep conditions.
We are a firm supporter of democracy in Pakistan, she said.
We have alter our policy regarding Pakistan thus want to make direct investment on people of Pakistan, she pointed.
In response to another question, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that in the past aid given to Pakistan by US was not spent properly thus this time we want it to be spent transparently.
Regarding Al-Qaeda leadership, she again made it clear that it could be present in Pakistan however US wants that lack of trust between two countries must be ended. Not denying the presence of Black Water in Pakistan, she said that there are some Security Agencies present for security purpose. She again urged Pakistan and India to come to negotiation table as talks is the only solution to solve thorny issues.
Confidence Building Measures are the need of the hour for both countries, she maintained.
She further strongly condemned Peshawar Bomb blast terming such incidents as heinous.
She made it clear that we don’t view those killed in terrorism incidents and drone attacks with the same eye. Pak Observer. Peoples remarks incredibly frustrating: Clinton Admits existence of trust deficit Tanvir Siddiqi