Pakistan should invest in schools, girls: Hillary

Pakistan`s fight with extremism would have been in better shape had the United States invested more in the nation`s schools and girls and not just its military, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Updated: Aug 22, 2009, 14:11 PM IST

Washington: Pakistan`s fight with extremism would have been in better shape had the United States invested more in the nation`s schools and girls and not just its military, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.
The United States has pumped more than USD 7 billion into Pakistan`s military since the September 11, 2001 attacks, which transformed the nation from Taliban backers into frontline US ally.

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine to be published on Sunday, Hillary said she had told Pakistan`s former military leader Pervez Musharraf that more of the money should be going to education.

She recalled a trip to a Pakistani village, where families hesitated to children, particularly girls, because the children would need to travel away to the closest school.

"When I think about the extraordinarily accomplished Pakistanis in the professions, in medicine, in education, I think it is certainly the case that if Pakistan had invested more in the education of children so that poor families would not have sent their boys off to be educated by extremists, it might well have made a difference," Hillary said.

"And it still can, because that`s part of our approach now," she said.

US lawmakers have voted to provide USD 7.5 billion for Pakistan over the next five years largely in support for social development including building schools.

Bureau Report