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Posts Tagged ‘Shah Mahmood Qureshi’

Yes, we will see Mme. Secretary together with Qureshi tomorrow according to P.J. Crowley

Briefing On Upcoming World Humanitarian Day

Eric P. Schwartz
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Acting Director for USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Mark Ward; Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Frank Ruggiero
Washington, DC
August 18, 2010

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tomorrow will deliver remarks at a plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on the humanitarian situation from the floods in Pakistan. The General Assembly meeting, which we think will take place at roughly 3:00 p.m. tomorrow, will be an opportunity to express solidarity and to further mobilize support of member states and the international community for the situation in Pakistan.

The Secretary will appear with Secretary General Ban and also Foreign Minister Qureshi. And at tomorrow’s meeting, we expect that she will update and announce an increase in the U.S. assistance to Pakistan. But the meeting tomorrow will occur on World Humanitarian Day, where we’re conscious not only of the dramatic situation in Pakistan, but fragile situations throughout the world that require international attention and international assistance.

So we thought today that we would have Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz start off and kind of reflect on the implications of World Humanitarian Day and in particular how they relate to the challenge and tragedy in Pakistan. Then we’ll go through our periodic update briefing. We have Chief Deputy Special Representative Frank Ruggiero here as well as Mark Ward from AID, just to kind of run through what we’re doing so far.

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Opening Remarks at U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Foreign Ministry, Islamabad, , Pakistan
July 19, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Secretary Clinton, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It is a pleasure to welcome Secretary Clinton to Pakistan once again. We are delighted to have you back in our midst to carry forward the wide-ranging agenda that we have been pursuing together in recent months. I also extend a warm welcome to other distinguished members of the U.S. delegation.
Those of us who traveled to Washington last March for the first round of this upgraded Strategic Dialogue remain overwhelmed by the exceptional warmth and the gracious hospitality accorded to us. We hope we can reciprocate in some small measure while you are in Pakistan. We are joined here by many distinguished colleagues from various ministries and institutions in Pakistan. I thank them for their presence and for their vital contributions to this process.
Madam Secretary, today is an important day in the history of Pakistan-U.S. relations, which entered a new phase with the commencement of the Strategic Dialogue at the level of the Secretary of State and foreign minister. With this enterprise, we committed to work together for building a stable, broad-based, and enduring partnership between Pakistan and the United States on the basis of shared democratic values, mutual trust, and mutual respect.
We concurred that such a partnership is in the best interest of the peoples of Pakistan and the United States. And it’s critical for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond. We identified a whole range of areas for intensified collaboration with the express intent of further deepening and broadening the multifaceted ties between our two countries. I have no hesitation in stating that this would not have been possible without your strong, personal belief, Madam Secretary, in the importance and vast potential of the Pakistan-U.S. partnership.
The time and energy that you have invested in it has made this day possible. The consistent progress that we have been able to make thus far owes largely to your qualitative engagement with this process. On behalf of the government and people of Pakistan and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to sincerely commend your vision, your commitment, and your leadership. And I assure you that we, on our part, remain equally committed to making this enterprise a resounding success.
Madam Secretary, we agreed at Washington that our sectoral dialogue process would encompass economy and trade, energy, defense, security, strategic stability and nonproliferation, law enforcement and counterterrorism, science and technology, education, agriculture, water, health and communications, and public diplomacy. It is gratifying that the first of these sectoral track meetings have since taken place.
City officials and experts on both sides have had preliminary discussions on areas of mutual collaboration and ways and means of achieving agreed outcomes. They have worked hard and done a fine job. I’m encouraged by the positive interaction in this sectoral dialogue and a clear sense of direction discernable in each of the identified areas. In our work during the day, we will have the opportunity to review in more detail the ground covered so far and to exchange views on the next steps.
I just wish to emphasize at this point that all these sectors are of fundamental importance to the day-to-day lives of the people of Pakistan. And they are, therefore, watching this dialogue with great expectations. You had rightly underlined in Washington last March that we cannot be satisfied with talking alone. As you stress the importance of translating our partnership into a lasting progress for the millions who live in cities and villages far from the halls of power and whose lives will be shaped by our actions, I could not agree more.
Indeed, the betterment of the lives of the people has been and must remain the primary motivation for all our efforts. Building a people-centered relationship must remain our foremost priority. It is in this spirit that we have been engaging in the sectoral discussion. We hope that Pakistan Government’s endeavors in these crucial sectors will be meaningfully reinforced through this process. We hope that substantive progress will be made on critical matters such as providing enhanced market access, strengthening Pakistan’s counterterrorism capacity, and allowing nondiscriminatory access to energy resources and advanced technology. We hope we will be able to achieve overall results that help expand economic opportunities in Pakistan and show real benefits of this relationship to our people. Nothing is more important than such vindication in the eyes of the people.
Madam Secretary, this is a transformational phase in our bilateral relations. Together, Pakistan and the United States are working to transform this longstanding cooperative relationship into a strong, comprehensive, and sustainable partnership of mutual benefit. The vision of this partnership is shaped by the mutual desire of our leaders, President Zardari and President Obama, for a richer relationship at the government-to-government, business-to-business, and people-to-people levels. This vision is rooted in the shared history of friendship and alliance between Pakistan and the United States over the past 60 years, which has withstood the test of times and has remarkably endured.
This vision is driven by our convergent interests in the present day, including fighting between menace of extremism and terrorism, stabilizing and reconstructing Afghanistan, sustaining dialogue with India, and finding a just solution of the Kashmir dispute linking the economic potential of South and Central Asia, curbing nuclear proliferation, and advancing progress and prosperity in the region and beyond. Essentially, in today’s globalized environment, an interconnectedness building such a partnership between our two nations is essential to building of a safer world and carving a common future of hope and optimism.
Madam Secretary, this is a period of profound transformation in Pakistan as well. We have political transformation underway with deepening democracy, increasingly empowered parliament, an active opposition, an independent judiciary, a free media, and a vibrant civil society. We have economic transformation underway with notable growth rate despite continuing global recession, growing inflow of remittances, tighter fiscal discipline, and expanding agricultural, commercial, and industrial base.
We have societal transformation underway with a rising demographic profile, rapid urbanization, increasing women empowerment, and a growing culture of human rights. We have ideological transformation underway with the emergence of a strong, national consensus against the dark forces propagating falsehoods in the name of our noble faith and perpetrating senseless crimes against our innocent citizens and the security personnel. Obviously, such far-reaching transformation brings in its wakes multiple challenges. But we are determined to deal with these challenges effectively and make sure that this transformation continues to forge ahead and concludes successfully.
We must do so because this transformation is consistent with Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan as a democratic, modern, progressive, and Islamic state. Because it is in line with our leader Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s conception of Pakistani society, because it helps us fortify our efforts in pursuit of our two core national priorities – peace and development. And finally, because it makes Pakistan a natural partner, indeed an indispensible ally of the international community. I cannot stress enough that the world has a vital stake in the success of our efforts.
Madam Secretary, in Washington, while launching this elevated Strategic Dialogue on March the 24th, you had heralded the dawn of a new day in our old and tested relationship. I’m happy to affirm that we are steadily moving forward in this new phase. As we go further, it will be crucial for us to remain sensitive and responsive to each other’s concerns and interests, make sure that our dialogue process is result-oriented, ensure that it makes a tangible contribution to peace and prosperity in the region, and continue to elicit stronger public support in both countries for the expanded partnership. It will be equally essential to build a robust architecture of strategic dialogue that helps advance our mutually shared goals at every level and at every juncture.
We must also develop and follow a roadmap for future with specific goals and agreed timelines. We must be able to showcase the progress made in building a truly strategic partnership which President Obama – when President Obama visits the region later this year. It is with these opening points that we will go into deeper deliberations and work for productive results.
Before I conclude, allow me to once again express how pleased we are to have you, Secretary Clinton, visiting Pakistan and for chairing this session. It is now my great privilege to invite Secretary Clinton to make her opening remarks. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Qureshi, for that warm welcome and your strong words of support for the partnership between Pakistan and the United States, and it is a partnership that you have done so much to forge. I am delighted to be here and to be part of this continuing Strategic Dialogue.
I want to begin my congratulating the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan for successfully concluding negotiations last night on the Afghanistan-Pakistan transit trade agreement. This is the most significant, concrete achievement between these two neighbors in nearly 50 years. I believe it will go a long way towards strengthening regional economic ties, creating jobs in both countries, and promoting sustainable economic development. And I applaud the Government of Pakistan for demonstrating your commitment to bilateral cooperation and building trust and closer ties between your country and your neighbor, Afghanistan.
My colleagues and I are delighted to join Minister Qureshi, other ministers, officials of the foreign ministry and other agencies of the Pakistan Government for this second meeting of the elevated and expanded U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. We bring with us the best wishes of President Obama and other members of the Administration, members of Congress, and the American people who recognize the importance of this relationship in building a secure, prosperous, and peaceful future for both our nations.
On a personal note, let me say to you and to all the Pakistani people how good it is to be back in Pakistan. This is my sixth visit and I always look forward to coming here not just because of the work that our governments are able to do together, but because of the relationships and friendships I’ve made and the conversations I’ve been privileged to have with so many Pakistani citizens.
I know that the past few weeks have been trying times for the people of Pakistan. The attack on the shrine of Data Darbar, a place that is sacred to many Pakistanis, as well as Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide, and so many attacks that continue to target the innocent – men, women and children – who are praying, who are shopping, who are working, who are living their lives, I convey our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and all those who are impacted by violence. Acts like these are meant to sow divisions between people. But I have seen how they have brought us together in affirmation of our shared values, our common humanity, and our mutual aspirations.
Of course, there are differences between our countries and our peoples, and we need to address them candidly. But every time I visit Pakistan, I become more convinced that our differences, although important, are small compared with all that connects us and there is so much we can accomplish together as partners joined in common cause. That is the promise and the reality represented by the Strategic Dialogue. This dialogue, as the minister has said, is an achievement in and of itself. Not long ago, meetings like this, at this level with this breadth of participation, were rare. Now, I’m happy to say they are becoming routine.
Since my visit here last October, when Foreign Minister Qureshi and I agreed to restart this dialogue and we both agreed to serve as its chairs, officials from our governments have come together multiple times. We convened in Washington in March to create 13 working groups each focused on a critical issue – promoting trade and economic growth, strengthening energy supplies for the Pakistani people, improving access to healthcare and education and so much else.
In recent months, every working group has met here in Pakistan to engage in high-level, substantive discussions about how to move forward. Together, we have identified roadblocks, devised strategies, and begun to put ideas into action. And the work has gone so well that we moved up the date of this review by several months.
I want to echo my friend, Foreign Minister Qureshi, in praising the efforts of both of our teams. This kind of results-oriented engagement is exactly what he and I hoped this dialogue would produce. But while we can be pleased, we cannot be satisfied. There is still so much work to be done as we unlock the full potential of the dialogue and translate our combined expertise and resources into lasting progress for the betterment of the people of Pakistan.

Let me briefly describe some of the highlights of our work so far and some plans for what comes next. One of our objectives when we launched this dialogue was to deepen our existing partnerships in key areas like security, while starting new partnerships on urgent issues like water. We know that there is a perception held by too many Pakistanis that America’s commitment to them begins and ends with security. But in fact, our partnership with Pakistan goes far beyond security. It is economic, political, educational, cultural, historical, rooted in family ties. That this misperception has persisted for so long tells us we have not done a good enough job of connecting our partnership with concrete improvements in the lives of Pakistanis. And with this dialogue, we are working very hard to change that perception and to deliver results that truly have the concrete effects we are seeking.
Now, of course, security is a critical element of our partnership. Pakistan plays a central role in promoting security throughout the region. The Pakistani people stand on the front lines of a battle with violent extremists who target shrines, mosques, markets, government buildings, killing and injuring hundreds and hundreds of innocent people. The United States condemns this brutality and we stand in strong support of the democratic Government of Pakistan as it works to stop these groups once and for all.
But security is just one piece of this vital partnership. We share with Pakistan a vision of a future in which all people can live safe, healthy, and productive lives; contribute to their communities; and make the most of their own God-given potential. This future demands a comprehensive human security, a security based on the day-to-day essentials like jobs, schools, clinics, food, water, fuel, equal access to justice; strong, accountable public institutions. These are the building blocks of a durable, thriving society, and they are the aspirations not only of the Strategic Dialogue but of the people of Pakistan.
So the United States does not want only a dialogue between the governments, we want a dialogue between peoples. During my visit here last October, I had conversations with students, women, business leaders, tribal elders, and so many others, to learn more about their concerns and their priorities. And I heard over and over again about several pressing needs – jobs, clean water, healthcare, electricity. I also heard the concerns that these conversations would not have an impact on the work we were doing. But in fact, both of our governments, as the minister has said, are committed to following the lead of the people.
I returned to our Pakistani partners and my colleagues in Washington and said this is what the Pakistani people want us to work on, and we built this Strategic Dialogue with these needs in mind.
Today, I am pleased to announce several new programs the United States will undertake as a direct result of this dialogue in partnership with the government and people of Pakistan. Last October, I described the first phase of a signature energy program to help increase energy production and reduce the blackouts that have plagued Pakistani cities and communities for months.
The United States wants to support that progress with the second phase of our signature energy program. We have maps up here which show what we are doing. I’ll mention a few of the projects. We will complete two hydroelectric dam projects, the Satpara dam in Skardu which will supply electricity to more than 280,000 people, and the Gomal Zam dam in South Waziristan which will provide electricity to 25,000 homes. We have seven projects. You can see on the map where they’re located in terms of the energy. We’re also helping Pakistan develop alternative energy sources like wind and solar power, as well as its natural gas reserves.
We are creating a signature water program in Pakistan. First, we will be building or rebuilding the municipal water systems for Peshawar and Jacobabad, everything from water distribution to storage to treatment. Second, in 139 municipalities in Southern Punjab with a combined population of more than 50 million people, we will be working with local governments to ensure that people have safe drinking water and improved sanitation. Third, we will build water storage systems for the Satpara dam to supply 3 million gallons of clean drinking water per day and for the Gomal Zam dam which will irrigate 190,000 acres, reaching 30,000 farming families. And fourth, in each of Pakistan’s four provinces, we will provide the drip irrigation technology and training that we’ve heard over and over again farmers are asking for.
Another critical need is healthcare, and I’m pleased to announce we will either renovate or build three medical facilities. In Lahore we will triple the size of Pakistan’s largest maternity hospital. In Karachi we will build a surgical ward for mothers injured in childbirth. And in Jacobabad, we will renovate the hospital that serves 1 million people in Northern Sindh and Balochistan.
We want to work with Pakistan to promote economic growth and the creation of jobs. Pakistan, as the minister has said, has made progress and we really salute the country and particularly the tough decisions made by this government to move out of economic crisis and into economic stability. You’ve enacted some important reforms to attract foreign investment and encourage new businesses. Now you face some hard choices, such as meaningful tax reforms that are needed to put Pakistan on the path to long-term economic prosperity. The United States will offer support while you make these tough reforms.
And we want to help improve economic opportunities especially for the large numbers of young people who are coming of age now and are looking for their chance to make their own mark on the world. To that end, we will invest $100 million to expand access to credit for small and medium size enterprises so more good ideas have the chance to become successful businesses. And through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, we will provide $50 million to support private equity investments in innovation and technology projects in Pakistan.
One sector primed to grow is farming, and so to support agricultural productivity in Pakistan, we will help develop a rural dairy program and the infrastructure to export Pakistan’s mangos, which I can say from personal experience are going to be very welcome on the shelves of American stores.
These are just a few of the programs the United States is committed to undertake on behalf of the people of Pakistan. As you can see from the maps behind me, we have programs across the country and across sectors. All of these programs were made possible by the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which tripled our non-military aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion over five years. We hope that projects like these will translate into real-life improvements for families and communities. These are not one-time expenditures. They are long-term investments in Pakistan’s future. We are committed to continuing our work with the Government of Pakistan to find ways to deliver services and opportunities that the people need to have.
When this dialogue convened in Washington in March, I said that it represented a new day in relations between our countries. But of course, this is not the work of any one day, but of every day. And so we must continue to hold these discussions and to move beyond them. We have to approach our work with patience and persistence to solve problems, meet challenges, and fulfill the promises made to our people.
In 1948, on the one-year anniversary of Pakistan’s creation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the man who worked so hard to make Pakistan a reality, spoke to your new nation. It was just a month before his death. Here’s what he said: “Nature has given you everything. You have got unlimited resources. The foundations of your state have been laid and it is now for you to build and build quickly and as well as you can.”
Today, this collaboration between Pakistan and the United States is blessed with resources, most particularly the talent and ingenuity of our people. And together, we are laying the foundation for an enduring partnership. It is now for us to follow the Quaid e Azam’s urgent advice and build as quickly and as well as we can a future of security, prosperity, and peace for both of our countries.
Thank you, Minister Qureshi.

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Remarks with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Following the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Foreign Ministry
Islamabad, Pakistan
July 19, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you for coming to this press stakeout. I have had the pleasure of welcoming Secretary Clinton to Pakistan once again, and I wanted to share with you a very productive meeting that we’ve had this morning on reviewing the upgraded Strategic Dialogue that was initiated on the 24th of March in Washington. We had set for ourselves a huge agenda because we had expanded the dialogue to 13 sectors – unprecedented. And the level of engagement that we had foreseen was very detailed. But as the Secretary has learned, that we were successful in engaging in Islamabad in the month of May and June, and all the sectors had detailed discussions here in Islamabad – the U.S. side, the Pakistan side – at the expert technical level.

From the discussions that they had, the Government of Pakistan has prepared a complete document that we’re calling the basic document of this Strategic Dialogue. Now, this document lays down a vision for every sector, a strategy that we have for that sector, what we have achieved so far, what contribution the U.S. can make to that sector through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman, what resources Pakistan is contributing in the promotion of that sector, and what needs to be done, what more needs to be done beyond Kerry-Lugar-Berman. It’s a document, a vision for a long-term engagement. And the beauty of this upgraded Strategic Dialogue is that it talks of health and education, water. It talks about increasing Pakistan’s productivity. It talks about creating jobs. It talks about the people of Pakistan and the people of United States, how they can develop a partnership amongst themselves. It has a long-term vision and this engagement has brought about or sort of given the right place to the bilateral relationship, which is an old one, because we felt that because of the situation in Afghanistan, there was too much focus on the trilateral engagements we were having, and the bilateral side of our relationship was being subsumed. But I think with this upgraded dialogue that has been addressed very successfully.

And the message is that United States and Pakistan are friends and partners regardless of other interests that we have. We have an independent bilateral relationship. And through this dialogue, we are going to promote and strengthen that relationship.

We’ve also agreed today – and the Secretary will give you details of what she proposes to do. But it’s no longer talk. It is implementation phase. It is action oriented. And these maps that are in front of you are some reflection of what we intend to do in different areas, how we have shifted the focus from terrorism, security-related issues, to the productive sectors of Pakistan – energy, water, agriculture. So we have agreed to the next round of our dialogue. That will take place in Washington in October and give everybody an opportunity to give an overview of their sector. And I think it was a very, very useful engagement.

And thank you for your time for that, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Qureshi, for your leadership of this important partnership and especially of the Strategic Dialogue. I’m delighted to be back in Pakistan. Last night, I had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Gillani and President Zardari. We discussed a number of the challenges and opportunities facing our two nations and the steps that we are taking together to address them.

This morning, I joined Foreign Minister Qureshi for the second meeting of the elevated and expanded U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. And I want to thank the foreign minister and his colleagues in the Government of Pakistan not only for hosting today’s session, but all of the hard work that has been done between our first meeting in March in Washington and this session and the results that we are reaching together.

Since we convened in Washington in March, our countries have made excellent progress. Every one of our 13 working groups have held high-level meetings here in Islamabad in the past three months. This morning, we heard detailed updates of the progress that these groups are making across a range of the critical issues that we have identified after extensive consultations.

As Foreign Minister Qureshi and I expressed to our colleagues, it is critical that we maintain this momentum. We must continue to engage in our substantive discussions and then we have to move beyond those discussions to make concrete, measurable progress toward our mutual goals of improving the lives of the people of Pakistan. To that end, I was pleased to announce a series of significant programs that the United States will be undertaking in several key areas, including water, energy, health, agriculture, and economic growth and employment.

All of these programs were made possible by the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which tripled our non-military aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion over five years. These projects are evidence of our commitment to broadening and deepening our strategic engagement with Pakistan, not only with the government but most particularly with the people. Our final measure of success will not be in how often we convene our high-level meetings like this one we held today, but how much we contribute to real and lasting progress.

These charts demonstrate the next phase of our work together. The first one talks about the signature energy programs here in Pakistan. I announced this initiative when I was here in October. Since then, we have been working with our Pakistani colleagues to identify the specific areas. Here in the middle are the water programs. I have to confess to you, water was not originally on our list. But after meeting with so many Pakistanis in October, not only government officials but so many others in the different settings I was privileged to be part of, water moved to the top of the list. Water and electricity, over and over again, were mentioned as the needs that the Pakistani people wished to see addressed.

So this last chart here, it lists – and I hope that members of the press will come up and take a look at it – it lists not only our water projects and our electricity projects, but also health projects and education and information. And right there in the middle is the new agreement for the export of mangos. And I have personally vouched for Pakistan mangos which are delicious, and I’m looking forward to seeing Americans be able to enjoy those in the coming months.

So the United States will continue to stand with the government and people of Pakistan. We will stand with you in the fight against the violent extremists and terrorists who target innocent people and some of Pakistan’s most treasured cultural and religious sites. And we shared the anguish and the terrible despair that struck so many Pakistanis in the aftermath of the attack on the Data Darbar shrine. We extend our condolences to the families of all those who have been lost in these attacks that are so vile and so dismissive of the rights of the people of Pakistan to lead their lives and to see their future and the future of their children take shape.

We’re committed to building a partnership with Pakistan that, of course, strengthens security and protects the people of Pakistan, but goes far beyond security. We want to help you drive economic growth and prosperity, strengthen your democratic government institutions, expand access to the tools of opportunity. And we’re very grateful to our colleagues led by Foreign Minister Qureshi under the leadership of both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani to really get in depth with the kind of candid, open conversations that should take place among and between friends and partners.

I look forward to the next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue in Washington in October, and I thank everyone who has contributed to the progress that is visually displayed here today. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. The minister and the Secretary will take a few questions. May I first invite Mark Landler of New York Times, please.

QUESTION: Good morning. Thank you very much. A question for both of you: Despite your commitment to opening a new era in Pakistan-U.S. relations and despite the rollout of these American projects illustrated in the maps, public opinion in Pakistan still views the United States and the motives of the U.S. Government with a considerable amount of suspicion. My question is: Why isn’t the American message getting through better?

And then a second question for Minister Qureshi if I may: The Obama Administration is in the process of considering whether to place the Haqqani Network on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. If the U.S. were to take such a step, do you worry that it would complicate efforts by both the Afghans and the Pakistanis to achieve a political settlement that would bring the war to an end? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Mark, I have to begin by saying that I think we are making progress, but I recognize the long road ahead. I said on my visit here last October that there was a trust deficit between our governments that had to be addressed, and that we needed to get beyond rhetoric and beyond the emphasis on security to the kind of in-depth discussion that these dialogue – this dialogue is presenting so that we can take action together. Because obviously, actions speak louder than words, and we are moving into the action phase.

That’s what these projects represent. We want the people of Pakistan to know that we consider our relationship to be one of enduring commitment. I am well aware that in Pakistan’s history, since the founding of the state – Pakistan and I are the same age – and I know that during that time, there have been periods of closeness between the United States and Pakistan that often ended with the people and Government of Pakistan feeling as though the United States had not continued to show the same level of commitment. Earlier today in the dialogues, the finance minister, Minister Shaikh, very briefly summarized the periods of closeness in the ‘60s and the ‘80s, the beginning of this century, which often were around periods of war – the Cold War, the struggle against the Soviet invasion of Russia, the post-9/11 period.

What I am trying to do and what President Obama and I have made clear will be American policy – what the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act and the new financial commitment represents – is that we are looking to establish a much broader, long-lasting foundation of collaboration and assistance that will truly assist the people of Pakistan to make the kind of progress toward peace and prosperity that they yearn for.

So we know that there is some questioning, even suspicion about what the United States is doing today. And I can only respond by saying that very clearly, we have a commitment that is much broader and deeper than it has ever been, that we expect to start seeing results. It is bipartisan, it is both of the Executive Branch and the congressional branch in our country, and we are going to continue to work to achieve very tangible results of this new high-level engagement.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: To respond to you, sir, opinion about the U.S. and Pakistan will change when the people of Pakistan see how, through this partnership, their lives have changed. And in this dialogue, we are focusing on projects, on sectors that would make a qualitative difference to the lives of ordinary Pakistanis. So they understand that this relationship is beyond security. This is a relationship that improves our purchasing power, our quality of life, and then a different message is understood.

Of course we have to communicate better. Of course realizing the difficulties that we’ve had in the past, now there is a new public diplomacy effort into the dialogue. It’s been sort of weaved into. We have a set – we have – one of the sectoral engagements is about public diplomacy so that the message reaches the right place. And then on the issue of – about the different networks and the efforts of reconciliation, United States, Pakistan are agreed with the rest of the international community to the targets set by us at the London conference. We have a very broad, very clearly identified direction today. And after the revision of the strategy by the Obama Administration, I think the objectives and the targets and the goals are very clear, and whether it’s reconciliation or reintegration.

And today, Pakistan and Afghanistan’s situation is dramatically different. We have improved our relationship. And what you saw yesterday was a reflection of a renewed confidence that Afghanistan has in Pakistan and Pakistan has with Afghanistan. So this will make the difference.

MODERATOR: Yes, (inaudible) please.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, the elected president of Afghanistan has given – been given the mandate by his people in the loya jirga to speak to the Taliban for others who oppose him. After that, you said in your interview with the BBC that you are going to now announce the Haqqani group as a terrorist group. What took you so long, Madam Secretary?

And another question: Do you have the figures, the numbers of the Afghans who have died or been killed in Afghanistan? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: We are supportive, as Foreign Minister Qureshi just said, of the reconciliation and reintegration efforts undertaken by President Karzai and the Afghan Government. We have made it clear that we think reconciliation cannot succeed unless the insurgents, who have been fighting the Afghan Government over the last several years, recognize the importance of renouncing violence if they wish to enter into the political system, renounce al-Qaida, which remains at the center of a syndicate of terror across the world, and agree to abide by the constitution and the laws of Afghanistan.

It seems to us that there will be some who are willing to meet those conditions and others who are not. And we would strongly advise our friends in Afghanistan to deal with those who are committed to a peaceful future where their ideas can compete in the political arena through the ballot box, not through the force of arms. And there are those who will never be reconciled, and we hope that they can be defeated because they pose a continuing threat to Afghanistan and, by extension, to Pakistan. The loss of life of Afghan civilians and of Afghan soldiers is too high. The loss of any life in Afghanistan, whether it be Afghani or American or any other contributor to Afghanistan’s freedom, democracy, and stability is too high.

But we have made it clear we will stand by Afghanistan as they pursue a peaceful path. We hope that their reconciliation and reintegration efforts can bear fruit. But we stand ready to continue to assist them in their efforts against the Taliban and the havoc that they cause in the way that they intimidate and attack innocent Afghan people that really undermines the prospects for the peaceful outcome that I know President Karzai is committed to.

MODERATOR: Mr. Jay Solomon of Wall Street Journal, please.

QUESTION: Thank you. This question is for both of you. Secretary Clinton, today, you outlined the push to help Pakistan meet its energy needs, but at the same time, I know the State Department is concerned about an impending sale of nuclear reactors from China to Pakistan. What message are you telling the Pakistanis about the U.S. position on this sale? And how are you sort of marrying the desire to help Pakistan’s energy needs, but these concerns about proliferation and the nuclear question?

And for you, Minister, as well, what is Pakistan telling the U.S. as far as its plans of going ahead with this purchase of nuclear reactors from China? And what does Pakistan need to do to get greater support internationally for its use of nuclear technologies? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jay, we are constantly talking with Pakistan about its energy needs, including the role for nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We believe that the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which has recently met to examine the sale that you’re referring to, has posed a series of questions that should be answered, because as part of any kind of transaction involving nuclear power, there are concerns by the international community. Pakistan knows that. We’ve conveyed them. Other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has conveyed them. And we look forward to the answers to those questions that were posed at the meeting just recently held in New Zealand.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: The energy needs of Pakistan are obvious. The people of Pakistan are facing outages, six to eight hours in the urban areas and 10 to 12 hours in the rural areas. Our economic growth has been impacted. Our agriculture production has suffered on account of that. So this government, under the leadership of President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani, have set forth a very clear target on bridging the energy deficit.

Now, how do we propose doing that? We are doing it through an energy mix. We are tapping on the indigenous sources that we have – that’s coal. We are trying to undertake new hydro projects because there’s a huge capacity for hydro generation. We are looking at other sort of renewables like solar and wind energy. And we are sort of making advances there.

We are trying to make our existing system more responsive and more efficient, and of course, in this mix, there is a component of nuclear energy. Pakistan has 35 years experience of generating nuclear energy. And fortunately, and because of the precautions that we have taken and the systems in place, there has been no untoward incident.

Now, this is part of our bag, but our policy on nonproliferation is very clear. And in the nuclear summit that we had, which was led by President Obama in Washington, Pakistan’s position was very obvious and very clear and endorsed by the international community that how Pakistan’s program is not only safe; it is responsible. So I see there is – there should be no fear on that account. And these projects that we intend to undertake will be open to IAEA inspection. So we will satisfy the international community and their concerns and we will address them to their satisfaction.

MODERATOR: Last question for Mr. (inaudible), please.

QUESTION: Well, Madam, in your opening remarks this morning, you mentioned about differences between United States and Pakistan, and right now, also you mentioned about trust deficit. Would you like to elaborate a bit? And tomorrow, there is an international conference being convened in Kabul a bit about that.

Mr. Qureshi, you also, in your opening remarks particularly, mentioned about unbiased energy cooperation. I would also like you to elaborate that. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you. I’m very positive about the state of our relationship because I think we have moved beyond either a standoff of our misunderstandings that were allowed to fester and not addressed to a position where we are engaged in the most open dialogue that I think our two countries have ever had. And I believe that is what friends and partners should do.

So I find the progress that we’ve made together with the Government of Pakistan, a democratically elected government that has demonstrated its willingness to tackle some of Pakistan’s hardest problems, doing what’s been done in economic reform, doing what must be done in tax reform, dealing with the energy shortages – these are difficult problems. And I am very pleased and impressed to see the leadership of the Government of Pakistan tackling these hard problems.

At the same time, the United States has had to ask ourselves, how can we be a better partner, how can we provide more support for what the people and Government of Pakistan are trying to do on their own. So of course, there is a legacy of suspicion that we inherited. I’m well aware of that. It is not going to be eliminated overnight. It is, however, our goal to slowly but surely demonstrate that the United States is concerned about Pakistan for the long term and that our partnership goes far beyond security against our common enemies.

That, of course, is a paramount concern because when people are dying because they go to worship or they go to shop, that is something that should offend the conscience of all people. And so of course, we will stand with Pakistan as you pursue this very difficult struggle against those who would take innocent life and attack the very foundation of the state of Pakistan. But in order to broaden and deepen our relationship, we’ve gone far beyond security. As both the minister and I have said, we are looking at 13 separate sectors. Now, one might ask, what does exporting mangos have to do with security? Well, probably not very much, but any time we can put people to work, open markets, create more opportunity in Pakistan, that in and of itself is a good thing. And it is something that the United States is committed to doing.

So I see progress. Maybe I see it from a closer position than many of the people in the country do as yet, but we are committed to this. I am personally committed. And we are going to stay the course and do everything we can to help create the kind of future that the people of Pakistan deserve.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: I quite agree with what the Secretary of State has said, that both of us are carrying the baggage of history, and we recognize that. Despite that, we have agreed to engage in a meaningful manner, and not just talk to each other. We are listening to each other. And there’s a big difference in talking to each other and listening to each other. The difference is we are listening to each other.

Now, we have our interests; they have their interests. We have our concerns; they have their concerns. The agreement is that we have to respect and be responsive to each other’s interests and concerns. I can say this with confidence that the convergence of interests that we have today, whether it’s democracy or women empowerment, institution-building in Pakistan, fighting and defeating extremism and terrorism and other areas is much more than ever before. And that is why this relationship is now becoming a partnership.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

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Well, it isn’t much, but I wanted to share some of today’s pictures.  I don’t have time to post more than this right now, but I know readers like to see the pictures.  Her eyes are very deep blue today. (Shallow comment over.)

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One thing we love (among SO MANY!!) about our lovely and brilliant Secretary of State is her creativity and devotion in celebrating designated months. She has a way of setting off fireworks – sometimes even by accident. Due to the earthquake in Chile, her original itenerary for her March tour of South America was altered and diverted her to Buenos Aires where she spent day one of Women’s History Month at the Casa Rosada (RICH with women’s history) with President Cristina Kirchner.

While I will repeat my disappointment that her Gay Pride Month Proclamation was not sent out as a press release but rather buried in a section of the State Department website that you had to know to go to, I am heartened that she and Administrator Shah are participating in this event on Tuesday since I know that the SOS had nothing to do with hiding the proclamation.

Secretary Clinton and USAID Administrator Shah to Deliver Remarks at Event Celebrating LGBT Month on June 22

Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC
June 18, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah will deliver opening remarks on “LGBT Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy” at an event co-hosted by State’s Office of Civil Rights and GLIFFA, the organization for Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies, on Tuesday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m., at the Department of State.
The event is part of LGBT Pride Month celebrations at the U.S. Department of State and USAID.
Following the opening remarks, Assistant Secretary for Populations, Refugees, and Migration Eric Schwartz will lead a panel discussion with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Daniel Baer, Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality, and Cary Johnson of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
The event will be open to credentialed members of the media and can be watched live on www.state.gov.

Then there is this bringing a smile to my face.

Pakistan: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Visit in July

VOA News 19 June 2010

Pakistan’s foreign minister says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Islamabad in July.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters Saturday that his American counterpart would be visiting for a second session of their U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. The first session was held in March.

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Readers here are well aware of how happy FM Qureshi is to make this announcement.

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Clearly the Secretary of State had a very busy day in the middle of a very busy week. She was “on” all day as host of this conference, and, as a result, there is a ton of pictures to be viewed. Since Wednesday is always my busiest and longest day, I just now at 10:15 p.m. finished collecting all the photos. The best (and fastest) way for me to post them is via a bulk upload, so here is a photo gallery of her remaining breathtakingly beautiful throughout a breathtakingly busy day.

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Please see the previous post for the text. Thank you.

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Opening Session of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
March 24, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning and let me welcome all of you, particularly our distinguished colleagues and friends from Pakistan. Welcome to the Ben Franklin Room. His portrait is above us over the fireplace. He’s one of our great heroes in the founding of our country. And I know that Pakistan just had its national day, so we are delighted that during this week we could hold this extremely important Strategic Dialogue.

As you can see I am joined by a number of officials from the United States Government, including Secretary of Defense Bob Gates; Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah; Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew; Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan; Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis; many other distinguished officials from across our government; and of course, our Ambassador Anne Patterson, who we’re always happy to see here in Washington. And together we welcome Foreign Minister Qureshi and the other distinguished members of the Pakistani delegation.

We have been looking forward to this meeting for a long time. It is the culmination of months of work by people in both our countries. It is the next step in a relationship that stretches back to Pakistan’s earliest days, but it is also the start of something new – a new phase in our partnership, with a new focus and a renewed commitment to work together to achieve the goals we share: stability, prosperity, opportunity for the people of both Pakistan and the United States.

Now, this is not the first Strategic Dialogue between our countries, but it is the first led by a Foreign Minister and a United States Secretary of State, and it reflects our government’s commitment to its success. During my visit to Pakistan in October, Foreign Minister Qureshi and I agreed that it was time for a Strategic Dialogue of this caliber to ensure that the work we do together will yield real and lasting benefits for our citizens. So during the next two days, we will determine concrete steps that our countries will take to advance our work in key areas, including addressing Pakistan’s urgent energy needs and helping communities damaged by violence to rebuild. More broadly, we will discuss our goals and vision for our partnership’s long-term future and set forth a schedule for that future.

Pakistan and the United States have come together at critical moments throughout our history. We have provided aid and support to each other at trying times. We have faced wars and responded to natural disasters together. Over the years, our relationship has been tested, but it has always endured. And I am pleased we have come together again – at this critical moment – to reinforce our ties and recommit to building a partnership that will last.

The United States comes to this Dialogue with great respect for the nation and people of Pakistan. We recognize the central role that Pakistan plays in promoting security and prosperity. And that is not only for itself but throughout South Asia. Pakistan’s stability and prosperity is in the best interests of people everywhere. Its struggles are our struggles. Its future and ours are entwined. And its people and our people share many of the same dreams, dreams we are more likely to achieve working together.

On a personal note, Pakistan is close to my heart. I have relished my visits and especially last October, when I spent several days meeting with people from across the country, hearing their views and sharing my own. Pakistan is also home to dear friends of mine. And it is the homeland of several members of my staff, as well as tens of thousands of Pakistani Americans, many of whom I was proud to represent as a senator for New York. So I have both a personal and a professional interest in Pakistan’s future. It’s one of the reasons why I was so pleased to set up a special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan for the first time with Ambassador Holbrooke and the first-class team that he has compiled. And I am committed to the success of this Dialogue, which offers a chance to accelerate our efforts to promote security and opportunity in Pakistan and beyond.

Let me just say a few words about security, and I see General Kayani and members of the military, and we are very pleased that you here with us. Pakistan stands at the front line of a struggle against violent extremism, which has inflicted terrible costs on the people of Pakistan. For months, the Taliban has waged war against the Government of Pakistan. Thousands of soldiers have given their lives to protect their country. Innocent men, women, and children have been killed in markets and schools, at police stations, and even in mosques. This violence is both senseless and part of a larger perverse strategy to destabilize Pakistan and allow extremist groups the freedom to consolidate power and plot further violence in Pakistan and beyond.

But the people and Government of Pakistan have responded to these attacks with courage and resolve. The Pakistani authorities have recently arrested key leaders of the Taliban. The Pakistani Army continues to fight the extremists. And the democratically elected Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani people have shown extraordinary strength in their determination to rebuild their communities and rid their country of those who seek to destroy it.

So to the people and Government of Pakistan, the United States pledges our full support. You are fighting a war whose outcome is critical; first and foremost, of course, for the people of Pakistan, but it will also have regional and global repercussions. And so strengthening and advancing your security remains a key priority of our relationship.

But security means more than defeating an insurgency. It also means creating the conditions that allow people to participate fully in their communities and to lead healthy, productive, fulfilling lives. I often say that talent is universal, but opportunity is not. And until opportunity is available to all citizens, the kind of progress Pakistan deserves will remain elusive.

During my visit to Pakistan last October, people shared with me their stories of the challenges they face every day. They told me about the scarcity of clean water, the energy shortages that cause regular blackouts that last for hours. They told me about the farmers who were struggling, the young people who want to work and contribute but can’t find a job.

With this Dialogue, we want to think about security in the broadest possible terms – not just what we commonly think of as national security, but the full range of political, economic, and social issues that shape the daily life of people everywhere. Here in the United States, we call these “kitchen table” issues, because families across our country often gather around the kitchen table to discuss them. Now, while we may not sit down at a kitchen table today, we will be focusing on these critical issues and planning the next steps we will take together to achieve them.

The United States is demonstrating our commitment to supporting the people of Pakistan. In addition to our humanitarian assistance to citizens displaced by violence, we have significantly increased our overall non-military assistance through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman initiative, the legislation passed last year. That was a landmark, long-term investment in Pakistan’s economy and its civilian institutions. Now, we are redirecting our assistance to priorities identified by Pakistan’s democratically elected civilian government, including energy and water initiatives. And under the leadership of the United States Agency for International Development, we are increasing our efforts to promote sustainable development and broad prosperity.

These are urgent goals, but they can only be achieved through patient, persistent efforts. So let me be clear: today’s Dialogue is not a one-time event. It is the first in a series of continuing, substantive discussions that will continue in the months ahead, as representatives from both our countries meet to look at the goals that we set and to figure out how we can make progress together. And it will continue later this year, when our teams will go to Islamabad for the next round of the Strategic Dialogue.

Now, while meeting is in itself an important first step, we cannot be satisfied with talking alone. Our success will be determined not by how often we gather in government summits, but in how well our partnership translates into lasting progress for the millions who live in cities and villages far from the halls of power and whose lives will be shaped by our actions. Bettering the lives of people must remain the motivation for everything we do. And our partnership must also foster a greater understanding between our nations and our people.

We know that, in recent years, misperceptions and mistrust have grown between our countries, on both sides of the relationship. Foreign Minister Qureshi and I have worked hard to overcome that. Other of our colleagues, both on the civilian and the military side, have worked equally hard to build greater trust and begin a new chapter in our relationship. Yet I am aware that some skepticism still remains.

So I want to say a word directly to the people of Pakistan. Our countries have had our misunderstandings and disagreements in the past. And there are sure to be more disagreements in the future, as there are between any friends or, frankly, any family members. But this is a new day. For the past year, the Obama Administration has shown in our words and our deeds a different approach and a different attitude toward Pakistan. This was a personal priority of President Obama’s and mine from the start of this Administration, and it will continue to be one.

The dialogue we seek is not only with the government of Pakistan, but with you, the people of Pakistan. This was one of the purposes for my trip in October. And together, we began a conversation that has continued, including earlier this week, when I met with journalists from Pakistan. It is a dialogue that we hope will expand and endure, and include more and more Pakistanis and Americans because we believe there is no limit to what the Pakistani and American people can accomplish together, particularly in this interconnected age, when it is so easy to communicate and collaborate, government-to-government, business-to-business, student-to-student, and citizen-to-citizen. So I urge every Pakistani and every American following our work here today to take on this mission as your own. Our countries are poised to deepen our partnership for our mutual progress, but we can only succeed with your support.

There is much work to be done, and that work is both exciting and somewhat overwhelming, because we know that nothing changes overnight. It doesn’t change with the best of intentions; it doesn’t change because we wish it to change. It only changes with hard work. In fact, I remember when I read about and had my staff pull for me the words of the sister of Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Allah – Ali Jinnah – Fatima Jinnah – who was a great carrier of his legacy after his early death. She continued his mission for many years, always urging the people of Pakistan to press ahead. It won’t surprise you that I often turn to women and their quotes and their work when I look through history, because their voices are too often forgotten. But what she said on Pakistan Day in 1952, the fourth anniversary of independence, was so telling to me. She noted the achievements that Pakistan had already made, though they were, as she put it, “an unaided people in their march toward their destiny.” And she concluded by quoting Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s words, his recipe for progress: Work, work, and more work.

Well, Pakistan is no longer unaided, marching toward your destiny. The United States is proud to stand and march with you. But now we are called, all of us, to work, work, and more work, today, tomorrow, and the months ahead for the citizens of our countries and many others whose futures will be influenced by our partnership.

I’m very pleased now, and it’s a great honor for me to introduce my partner and my counterpart, someone who I have very much appreciated working with over the past many months now, Foreign Minister Qureshi.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by thanking you for your warm words of welcome and your reaffirmation of the vital importance of Pakistan-U.S. relations. My colleagues and I myself have been touched by the gracious hospitality extended to us since our arrival in Washington. I bring with me the warmest greetings of the leadership and people of Pakistan for the friendly government and friendly people of the United States.

We are meeting today in the special backdrop of the 70th anniversary of adoption of the Pakistan Resolution, a landmark event in the history of South Asia and a defining moment in our struggle for freedom. The people of Pakistan remember with gratitude the valuable contribution made by the freedom-loving American people to our quest for independence and to forging close ties with our young nation. Consistent with its own values and principles, Pakistan made a conscious choice at the outset to join the free world alliance at a time when sitting on the fence was rightly considered immoral. Pakistan and the United States have since been close friends and allies.

On several occasions, our partnership has had a profound impact on the course of history. Pakistan’s role in the promotion of Sino-American rapprochement decisively tilted the East-West balance in favor of the free world. Our successful joint endeavors drove back the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, helped end the Cold War, and usher in a new era in world politics. In the post-9/11 period, our two nations have joined hands again to defeat the dark forces of extremism and terrorism that threaten us all.

As we recall these shining examples, we must also remember that many of these brooked sacrifices from the people of Pakistan. Red marks were placed on Pakistani cities, thousands of our innocent citizens became victims of foreign-sponsored sabotage, our society was exposed to massive refugee influx, as well as the devastating effects of illicit weapons and drugs, which continue to afflict us to this day.

Our resolute fight against militancy is evoking a stiff backlash manifested in repeated attacks and suicide bombings targeting our valiant security personnel and innocent civilians. Our economy continues to incur losses to the tune of billions of dollars, yet our resolve remains undiminished because it is a matter of standing up for your principles and facing the consequences that come in its wake.

I should also mention that the Pakistan-U.S. bilateral relationship did not always enjoy a sunny side. In fact, over the past six decades, it has seen all seasons. We’ve had development assistance, as well as crippling sanctions; engagement as well estrangement; spring punctuated with periods of autumn. But one lesson from this longstanding partnership is clear: Whenever the relationship between the United States and Pakistan has frayed, the interests of both our nations have suffered. Whenever we have worked together, both our nations and the world have benefited.

I, therefore, venture to stress that this is a dictate of our shared history that the Pakistan-U.S. relationships remain deep and sustainable, Madam Secretary. It is with this sense of history that we are approaching this renewed Strategic Dialogue. The two countries have started the structured dialogue process in April 2006 and rightly focused on priority areas like the economy, energy, education, science and technology, and agriculture. In several rounds of discussions in Washington and Islamabad, proposals and specific measures for closer collaboration in these sectors were outlined. However, despite best efforts on both sides, time and resource constraints prevented us from achieving concrete results.

Now is a time for look forward. Our renewed upgraded dialogue offers great hope. We believe it presents a great opportunity to reaffirm a longstanding alliance, to rededicate ourselves to the principles and values that have guided our relationship in the last six decades, and to craft together the vision of a broad-based, long-term, and enduring partnership for the 21st century.

Such a partnership we are convinced is good for Pakistan, good for America, and good for international peace, security, and prosperity. Such a partnership is important because Pakistan is a pivotal state with over 170 million people, rich in human and national endowment, full of huge untapped natural and energy resources awaiting extraction, strategically located at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and representing a democratic and moderate voice in the Islamic world. Such a partnership is necessary because Pakistan and the United States have a whole range of convergent interests, including fighting the twin menace of extremism and terrorism, stabilizing Afghanistan, promoting peace and stability in South Asia, linking the economic potential of South and Central Asia, curbing nuclear proliferation, and advancing progress and prosperity in the region and beyond.

Madam Secretary, under a new democratic leadership inspired by the ideals of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan remains engaged in a consequential effort to turn the tide against extremism and build a future of promise and hope for its people. For us, this is and will remain a strategic and moral imperative. We recognize that the United States also wants a stable, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan making steady progress towards the realization of the vision of its founding fathers. We have welcomed President Obama’s commitment to build a richer relationship with Pakistan, based on mutual respect, mutual interest, and mutual trust. We value the Kerry-Lugar-Berman initiative, which contains the potential to fundamentally transform the nature of our relationship and make it broad-based and people-centered.

It is our earnest hope that the Strategic Dialogue we are upgrading today would help both sides take the relationship truly to a strategic plane. In this regard, our point of departure must remain that positive and robust engagement between Pakistan and the U.S. is critical for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond.

We must also remember that an enduring partnership can only be built and sustained on the strength of a close people-to-people relationship. Indeed, strong public support is indispensible for any initiative to bring our two nations closer and jointly promote our common goals. A Pakistan-U.S. relationship that touches the lives of ordinary people, responds to their vital needs, and makes a positive difference in the pursuit of their aspirations for a better life would form the solid foundation as well as a best guarantee for a sustained strategic partnership between our two nations. As such, we hope that, together, Pakistan and the U.S. can build a robust economic partnership which rests primarily on increased trade and market access, so that we can expand economic opportunities in Pakistan and fight extremism strategically. We hope non-discriminatory access to vital energy resources will also be available to us so that we, too, can pursue our economic and industrial development plans. We recognize that education is the bedrock of a progressive and democratic society. We hope there will be adequate resources to reinforce our efforts in this vital social sector.

Regionally, Pakistan is committed to doing its part to facilitate the world’s community effort for peace and stability in Afghanistan. We hope the world community will be equally responsive to our legitimate concerns and help advance common interests. Pakistan will continue to seek a peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes in South Asia, including Kashmir. We hope the United States will maintain its constructive engagement to encourage this process.

Madam Secretary, there are great expectations from the enterprise we are launching today. I’m conscious that it will not be without its challenges or complications either. There could be doubt from within, there will be smear from without, and there may be setbacks on the way. But I am confident that we have the requisite political will on both sides to pursue it successfully and to achieve concrete results because at the end of the day, it is in the mutual interest of our two nations to work together to advance our shared objectives. I assure you, Madam Secretary, that in the worthy cause of building an enduring partnership of mutual benefit between our two countries, we will meet you more than half the way. I thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you very much, Foreign Minister. (Applause.)

I think at this point in the program, the press is going to be departing, as will some of our participants for other meetings during the day. So we’ll just take a minute so that we can give the press time to move and we can say goodbye to those who are leaving and then we’ll get back and begin the program.

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While Hillary and Patricia were busy commandeering the troops against the border violence in Mexico,  you already knew that today was Pakistan Day ,  and that this is on her agenda for tomorrow.

The United States and Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 17, 2010

On March 24, the United States and Pakistan will hold their first Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial level in Washington, DC. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi will co-chair the talks. Topics for discussion will include economic development, water and energy, education, communications and public diplomacy, agriculture, and security. High-level officials from both governments will come to the table to discuss issues of common concern and shared responsibility.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton have repeatedly stressed the breadth and depth of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, a partnership that goes far beyond security. The Strategic Dialogue represents the shared commitment of both nations to a strengthening the bilateral relationship and building an even broader partnership based on mutual respect and mutual trust.

Here is a press release from the State Department with some details about the Dialogue.

U.S. and Pakistan Strategic Dialogue Schedule

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 23, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will co-chair the first United States-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial level in Washington, D.C. on March 24 and 25.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton have repeatedly stressed the breadth and depth of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, a partnership that goes far beyond security. The Strategic Dialogue, marking a major intensification of our partnership, represents the shared commitment of both nations to strengthening the bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and mutual trust.

March 24, 2010 (all times EDT)
8:00 a.m. Opening Session with remarks from Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Qureshi (Open Press Coverage for Remarks; live broadcast to Pakistan) See the daily public schedule for further information on covering this event.

10:00 a.m. Group Discussions: Agriculture, Communications & Public Diplomacy, Defense & Security, Economic Development & Finance, Social Issues (Closed Press Coverage)

12:30 p.m. Lunch co-hosted by Deputy Secretary of State Lew and Ambassador Holbrooke. (Closed Press Coverage)

2:00 p.m. Public-Private Partnership Roundtable (Closed Press Coverage)

TBD Joint Press Availability with Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Qureshi (Open Press Coverage) See the daily public schedule for further information on covering this event.

4:00 p.m. State Department Reception in honor of Pakistani Delegation with U.S. government officials, members of Congress, American businesses, and Pakistani-American community (Closed Press Coverage)

March 25, 2010 (all times EDT)

9:00 a.m. Energy and Water Discussion (Closed Press)

10:00 a.m. Communications & Public Diplomacy Discussion (Closed Press)

4:45 p.m. USAID Development Roundtable hosted by Administrator Shah (Closed Press)

Stacy has a video up of an interview Hillary did on Pakistan.

So it looks like tomorrow is pretty busy.   (What else would it be?  It’s Hillary, after all!)

Here is something on the agenda for Thursday,  i.e. ANOTHER HONOR FOR HILLARY!

Secretary Clinton To Attend Congressional Women’s History Month Celebration in Her Honor on March 25th

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 23, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the guest of honor at a event marking Women’s History Month on March 25th at 12:15 p.m. in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. The event will be hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.
Statuary Hall
The U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.

I’m telling you now! It is high time we think about a Hillary Clinton Library/Museum in Seneca Falls, New York.  There is no more appropriate place, reason, or woman!

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