Clinton admits trust deficit with Pakistan
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, July 19, IRNA -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday admitted trust deficit with Pakistan and said it could not be removed overnight.
Speaking at a joint press conference with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi after their Strategic Dialogue in Islamabad, she said that U.S. aid in different sectors will help remove suspicion in the mind of the people of Pakistan.
Clinton said she had also mentioned mistrust between Pakistan and the U.S., when she traveled to Islamabad last year in October and had also stressed the need to address the issue.
“Through in-depth discussion and dialogue we can take actions together to restore the trust,” the Secretary of State said.
“We know there are some questions and suspicion but my message to the people of Pakistan is clear that we want a commitment, that commitment is deeper and we work together to achieve tangible results of this engagement,” she said.
Clinton said the U.S. will also stand by the people of Pakistan in the fight against violent extremism that targets innocent people in mosques, shrines and cultural centers. She referred to the attack on Datta Drabar shrine in Lahore and said many people were killed in the attack.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi defended the country’s civilian nuclear co-operation with China to build two new nuclear reactors, and said the plants will be open to the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Qureshi speaking at the same news conference said there should be no fear about the safety as Pakistan has nuclear experience of 35 years and there has been no untoward incident.
Chinese companies would build at least two new 650-megawatt reactors at Chashma in Punjab province to meet the requirement of energy-starved Pakistan, where Qureshi said the hours of power outage has affected the country’s economy.
Hillary Clinton said on the occasion that members in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in a meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, in June examined the intending deal of Chinese nuclear power plants with Pakistan and raised several questions about the sale.
She insisted that those questions must be answered, adding and any transaction involving nuclear power is of a matter of concern. She added that the NSG and the U.S. have conveyed their observations about the deal.
Hillary Clinton also claimed that the U.S. is addressing the energy needs of Pakistan and it is one of the main issues in the Strategic Dialogue process.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister told the news conference that his country is facing energy crisis and is working on several plans including nuclear power plants to meet the requirements.
He said that due to energy shortage Pakistan is experiencing 6 to 8 hours power outage in urban and 10 to 12 hours in the rural areas. The crisis has badly affected the economic and agricultural sectors, adding the government has embarked on plans to fill the energy gap.
End News / IRNA / News Code 1235726
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