Pakistan has suffered grievously from militancy: US

The Obama admin wants to ensure Pak has capacity to fight against terrorism.

Updated: Nov 18, 2010, 09:32 AM IST

Washington: Pakistan has suffered "grievously" from militancy and the Obama administration wants to make sure that Islamabad has the capacity to successfully fight against terrorism, a top US counter-terrorism official has said.

"Pakistan has suffered grievously from militancy. I believe that Pakistan`s leadership understands very well the nature of the threat and the imperative to combat it. This is the view of the (US) President and the (US) Secretary of State and everyone else who`s involved," State Department Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, Daniel Benjamin, said.

"We are all acutely aware of the losses Pakistan has suffered in bombings, in firearms attacks and the like on police, on all kinds of different security facilities," Benjamin said.

The United States is constantly in the process of working to provide Pakistani authorities with the equipment they need to deal with this very real threat that they face, he said.

"We know, for example, that helicopters are a very big deal. You talked about mobility, and we are always working to try to help Pakistan in that area. And I believe quite a number of aircrafts have been delivered over the last few years.”

"So I don`t think there`s any question that, you know, Pakistan is a key partner. I think Secretary Clinton underscored this very recently when the Pakistani leadership was here for the Strategic Dialogue. And that will continue to be our emphasis, our contention," the official said.

In general, the US is dedicated to making sure that Pakistan has the wherewithal to deal with the threats it faces in its neighbourhood by itself. That`s really the essence of a sound counter terrorism policy, Benjamin said in response to a question.

He said in Pakistan, the US is helping a frontline partner against terrorists who threaten Americans, Pakistan`s government and people, and security in the region and the world.

"Through the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation, Congress has reaffirmed the US` long-term commitment to Pakistan through the authorisation of USD 1.5 billion a year in civilian assistance to build Pakistani infrastructure, provide vocational training, and....improve rule of law and good governance, and tackle the issues most important to the Pakistani people, energy and water," he said.

At the recent, US-Pakistan strategic dialogue, Hillary said the United States has no stronger partner than Pakistan when it comes to countering terrorism against the extremists who threaten both countries, Benjamin said.

"Within the strategic dialogue, I am the co-chair of a working group on law enforcement and counter terrorism efforts that`s working on issues ranging from prosecutorial training to border security. The US is also providing training for Pakistani police forces and assisting that country with programs to address terrorist finance issues," the official added.

PTI