WASHINGTON: The United States will maintain close ties with Pakistan and there is absolutely no move to lower the vital relationship, the State Department said on Thursday. Spokesperson Jen Psaki said Washington knows the importance of its relationship with Pakistan and Secretary of State John Kerry is eager to visit the key South Asian country. Basing on media reports suggesting a decline in US assistance for Pakistan, when asked if this would affect the relationship between both the countries she replied, “Absolutely not”. On question of next fiscal year’s aid levels, which vary yearly, the spokesperson said she would need to have a closer look at the Congressional Research Service report. However, she observed that as the budget is rolled out by the White House in Congress and worked through, she expected the details on funding would be the most accurate.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2013.