The United States’ anti-terror cooperation with Pakistan is in America's long-term security interest and the cooperatve efforts between the two countries have yielded results, the State Department said on Tuesday.
“What we’re trying to do in Pakistan is to build democratic institutions, to improve Pakistan’s security, to help it face an existential threat from terrorism. And that’s where our assistance is focused,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at the daily briefing.
“A strong, stable, peaceful, and prosperous Pakistan is in the interest of the region,” he said in response to a question by an Indian journalist who questioned US assistance for Islamabad.
The spokesman said he was not aware of any list of wanted terrorists, which the journalist suggested, was provided to Pakistan during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Islamabad.
“Clearly, our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan has yielded results. We’ve talked about the fact that more terrorists have been killed on Pakistani soil over the years than anywhere else in the world and that were apprehended in Pakistani soil over the years. And that is indicative of our strong counterterrorism cooperation,” Toner said, stressing the importance of anti-terror cooperation.
The spokesman noted that cooperation with Pakistan is in America’s long-term security interest.
“Have there been bumps in the road? Certainly. Did Bin Ladin’s location raise serious concerns? Of course. And we’re addressing those concerns. But ultimately, counterterrorism cooperation, and indeed on a broader level cooperation with Pakistan, is in our nation’s long-term security interest.”
Toner argued that the US relationship with Pakistan should not be seen as zero-sum game vis-a-vis Washington’s ties with India.
The State Department spokesman confirmed that New Delhi is in the final stages of the $4.1 billion purchase of 10 American C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transport aircraft, under a deal announced during President Barack Obama’s recent visit to India.
“This sale will double the value of US-Indian defense trade and provide the Indian Air Force with a strategic airlift and humanitarian response capability that, frankly, is unique in the region.”
According to Toner, the transport aircraft will broaden India’s capability, for instance, to provide humanitarian assistance to people devastated by natural disasters. It will also allow them to deploy peacekeeping troops around the world and to evacuate its citizens from areas of civil strife anywhere in the world, he added.
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