ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the US will hold the third round of their strategic dialogue in Islamabad from June 24, diplomatic sources told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
US Coordinator on Counter-Terrorism and Ambassador-at-Large Daniel Benjamin will lead the American team and, following the dialogue, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Pakistan on July 21 to assess progress on the talks, the sources said.
They said that the American team would visit forensic laboratories and monitor the equipment provided by the US administration to Pakistan for fighting terrorism.
The talks will cover cooperation in the fields of defence, science and technology, trade, agriculture, energy and capacity building of Pakistani law-enforcement agencies, the sources told The Express Tribune.
The two countries started the strategic dialogue as a new chapter in bilateral relations. Pakistan is often referred to by Washington as a key regional player and a major non-Nato ally with whom it wants to have a long-term engagement. But Islamabad’s strategists now feel that the time has come to tell Washington to move on from symbolism and address Pakistan’s core security concerns and its immediate economic needs, analysts say.
Pakistan is also hoping for civilian nuclear cooperation along the lines of the deal that the US signed with India in October 2008.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 14th, 2010.
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