US to provide $7 billion non-military aid to Pakistan: Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the people from different walks of life during a ceremony at PNCA.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has said that Pakistan has to remove reservations of the international community over its Civil Nuclear Technology deal with China, saying under Kerry-Lugar Bill, US would give Pakistan $7 billion in non-military aid over five years.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan signed the agreement with China aimed to tackle its on-going energy crisis and no country should has reservations over it.

Addressing a joint press conference along with her Pakistani counterpart Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at Foreign Office after Strategic Dialogues, the US Secretary of State said US is waiting Pakistan’s response regarding reservations on Civil Nuclear Technology deal with China.

She said Washington has tripled the non military aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion under the Kerry Lugar Bill over the next five years. This reflects our deepening of relations with Pakistan.

The US Secretary of State said that during her visit she held important meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and matters related to Pak-US Strategic Dialogues were discussed.

Secretary Clinton conveyed the United States’ support for Pakistan’s socio-economic advancement. In this context, she said the United States would, in particular, support programmes and projects in the priority areas of energy and food security and social sector development. Secretary Clinton announced U.S. assistance for Signature Projects in energy, water and health.

She said that US experts are working on different project with Pakistani experts to steer the country of its energy crisis.

Praising the role of incumbent democratic government of Pakistan, Hillary Clinton said that nothing can be changed in night but Pakistan’s situation would be improved with the passage of time. She said that the US is stand-by with Pakistan against the war of terrorism.

On situation in Afghanistan, she said that talks should be held with elements, which are interested in peace and categorically stated that talks would not be held with elements fanning terrorism and extremism.

Commenting on Pak-Afghan relations, she said that there is lack of confidence between the two countries and both countries should restore the confidence.

Strongly condemning Data Darbar Attack, she said that the US would provide all possible assistance to Pakistan in combating terrorism.

Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the occasion said that Pak-China Civil Nuclear Deal is for tackling energy crisis and Pakistan can remove reservations, if any country has.

He said that Pakistan has the right to have nuclear technology and it has experience of 35 years in this technology, adding Pakistan believes on minimum nuclear deterrence and aware of its responsibility in this regard.

Responding to a question, he said the situation of Pakistan and Afghanistan is totally different, adding relations between these two countries are being improved.

The Foreign Minister said that both Pakistan and the United States are friends and wants to cooperate with each other in different sectors.

On energy crises, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the country is facing severe crisis of load shedding and the President and the Prime Minister have strictly directed to start several projects to tackle the on-going energy crisis.

Terming the strategic dialogue successful, the foreign minister said that Pakistan has prepared an initial document regarding the dialogue, which has details about progress made so far on dialogue with US and assistance provided by US under Kerry-Lugar Bill.

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