Pakistan, U.S. to enhance cooperation in energy and developmental sectors

08:19, July 20, 2010      

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The Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue concluded here on Monday with a positive note sugarcoating the security concerns as both countries have finalized a comprehensive strategy to enhance the bilateral cooperation in the energy and developmental sectors.

"In order to deepen our relationship we have gone far beyond security," the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a joint news conference flanked by her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Enveloping the security concerns under the five-year 7.5- billion-dollar economic and development package that was offered under the Kerry-Lugar Berman Act, Clinton responded a question saying "of course, there's legacy of suspicions which won't be able to be eliminated overnight."

"I heard about the trust deficit," she commented recalling her last year's visit while tactically deflecting through the sensitive security-related issues and highlighting the more appealing core economic and development matters.

Since the first round of bilateral dialogue in March 2010, 13 working groups were formulated that would help Pakistan in key areas of energy, water, education, health, employment, infra- structure building and others.

"Our partnership would go far beyond," said Clinton who arrived on a two-day official visit on Sunday with a heavy purse of 500 million dollars. Her participation in a forthcoming international donor's conference in Kabul right after successfully holding the second round of strategic dialogue to be held in Washington in October.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Pakistan and U.S. have shifted to a productive mode as the U.S. will assist Pakistan in building water projects in Satpar, Skardu and Gomal-Zam dams.

"We are tapping an energy mix resources," Qureshi said while elaborating the various means the energy-hungry country has been employing to meet its needs. The electric power shortfall in Pakistan has reached 4,500 Mega Watts.

Brushing aside a question on Pakistan's nuclear energy resources, particularly nuclear power plant with the help of China, Qureshi said that Pakistan holds 35 years of experience in generating nuclear energy and "no untoward incident has ever happened."

Source: Xinhua


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