WASHINGTON: US Deputy Secretary of State James B Steinberg has said that Washington is committed to a wide-ranging partnership with Pakistan and believes close ties with both Islamabad and New Delhi will have a positive impact on the neighbours’ bilateral relations, reported agency Asian News International (ANI), on Sunday.
“I think it’s pretty clear from the level of engagement that we have with the government of Pakistan that we view this as a crucial relationship,” he said. ANI reported that the Deputy Secretary told the foreign relations council that Washington has a “significant stake in building a Pakistan that is stable, democratic, economically growing and providing for the needs of its people, and dealing with the problems of terrorism and the potential risks of proliferation in that region.”
He added that the Obama administration recognises that addressing the terrorism challenge in the South Asian region would take time, according to ANI. “If we are going to deal with these challenges, it will take time and a sustained relationship,” he remarked. “That means to make sure that we do not just focus on one issue, but also understand that there are a range of other concerns and issues. That is why, for example, we’ve tried to move forward on our agenda with the reconstruction opportunity zones in Pakistan to create some economic opportunity,” he added.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010.