US says it has significant stake in building stable Pak

The US has said it has a significant stake in building a stable and democratic Pakistan.

Last Updated: May 22, 2010, 10:20 AM IST

Washington: Describing its ties with
Islamabad as crucial, the US has said it has a significant
stake in building a stable, democratic and economically
prosperous Pakistan.

"I think it`s pretty clear from the level of engagement
that we have with the Government of Pakistan that we view this
as a crucial relationship," Deputy Secretary of State, Jim
Steinberg, said.

The US has "a significant stake" in building a Pakistan
that is stable, democratic, economically growing and providing
for the needs of its people and dealing with the problems of
terrorism and the potential risks of proliferation in that
region, he said.

"There`s a huge amount at stake, and it`s a complex
relationship because it`s a complex society and a complex
government," Steinberg said in response to a question at the
Council in Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think tank,
where he spoke on the implications of rising powers for global

He also acknowledged that there is a lot of suspicion
between the two countries.

"We`ve had a less than fully sustained relationship over
the past 30 years, and so we have to rebuild that trust,
understanding that we`re not going to necessarily see eye-to-
eye on everything but that the more we can convince each other
that in the long term our interests are largely convergent and
that we are prepared to engage for the long term, there is
greater likelihood that we will be responsive to each other`s
concerns and interests," he said.

The US, which recently had a strategic dialogue with
Pakistan here, has tried to build a very comprehensive
relationship with Pakistan, Steinberg said.

If one followed the range of issues that were discussed
in the recent Strategic Dialogue and the range of partners
that the US is dealing with in Pakistan, it was really a
reflection of the fact that while there was a tremendous focus
right now on terrorism - because it was an existential threat
to us and it was a huge priority for us - it was also a huge
priority for Pakistan, since they were also threatened in many
ways by the same forces that threaten the US, he said.

"...working with the Congress, we`ve tried to broaden our
assistance programme to make clear that this is to benefit
broad sectors of the Pakistani society and not just focused on
counter-terrorism efforts," the Deputy Secretary of State