Islamabad, Mar.30 : Prime Minister Makhdoom Yousuf Raza Gilani told an American Congressional delegation here that Pakistan attaches high priority to its strategic relationship with the United States and is keen to further expand that relationship in all aspects.
Interacting with the American Congressmen in his chamber at Parliament House on Saturday, Gilani said the people of Pakistan had given a clear mandate in favour of the democratic forces during the February 18 general elections.
He said terrorism was a matter of great concern and his government would address it in the greater interest of the country.
According to the Daily Times, he told the visiting delegation that the global community should look into the root causes of terrorism, which were the result of deprivation and injustice. He said political dialogue and the provision of economic opportunities were key to confronting this issue effectively.
Welcoming the tabling of the bill in the US Senate on the establishment of Reconstruction Opportunities Zones (ROZs) in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said economic empowerment of the people was the key to addressing the issues of extremism. Such zones, he said, would help increase economic activities in the areas, create new jobs, and improve living standards.
The delegation congratulated the premier on assuming office and assured the full support of the US Congress to the new government.
The US delegation included John Tierney, Keith Ellison, Jim Moran, Betty McCollum, Maurice Hinchey and Barbara Cubin, along with other senior officials of the US Embassy.