US to unwrap range of actions for Pak: Holbrooke

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 15:20

Washington: Amid reports that the US may
cooperate with Pakistan in civilian nuclear use, a top
American diplomat today said that the Obama Administration
would soon unwrap a range of actions for Islamabad in the
field of energy, security and water.

Special US Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan
Richard Holbrooke, who had a preview meeting with Pakistani
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi ahead of tomorrow`s
US-Pak Strategic Dialogue, said the Congress would be involved
in the process.

The meeting was held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters
of the State Department; which among others was attended by
Pakistani Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

Holbrooke said the United States would be announcing a
range of actions, some big some small that move the process
forward on issues from energy to water to education, to
security.

"We consider this to be a very important trip. I do
want to be clear that no single trip ends an issue. This is a
process," he said.

The comments by Holbrooke left it unclear whether US
intends to expand its growing cooperation with Pakistan in
civil and military fields to civilian nuclear use.

Earlier, a US-based Pakistani newspaper had quoted US
Ambassador in Islamabad Anne W Patterson as saying that
Washington is "beginning to have a discussion with the
Pakistan government" on its desire to tap nuclear energy.

Patterson was also quoted as saying that there would
be "working level talks" on the issue in Washington this
month.

"Earlier on, non-proliferation concerns were quite
severe. I think we are beginning to pass those and this is a
scenario that we are going to explore...," Patterson was
quoted as saying in the report.

But a spokesperson of the US embassy in Islamabad
yesterday said, "the US has not entered (into) negotiations on
a civil nuclear agreement with Pakistan."

In his brief remarks, Qureshi reiterated that it is
time that the US met the aspiration of Pakistan.

"I agree with Ambassador Holbrooke that this is a
process but this process has to be meaningful and it has to be
mutually beneficial. It cannot be one-sided," Qureshi told
Pakistani media.

"The people of Pakistan want the United States to walk
the talk," said Qureshi, who would lead the Pakistani
delegation for the first US-Pak Strategic Dialogue tomorrow.

The US delegation would be led by Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 15:20

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