Hillary urges donors to keep their pledges to help Pakistan

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Washington, Apr 23 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged nations who pledged more than five billion dollars to Pakistan last week, to keep their pledges.

In a testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Clinton sought supplemental funding of 497 million dollars for Pakistan, saying that "progress in Afghanistan, we believe, depends on progress in Pakistan."

Clinton recalled that last week the US had pledged one billion dollars to Pakistan at a donors' meeting in Tokyo while other nations committed almost 4.5 billion dollars.

"We have to keep our pledge ... we have to try to strengthen civilian law enforcement, particularly in FATA and NWFP," she added.

"Key to our new strategy for both Afghanistan and Pakistan is to hold ourselves and our partners accountable and we are committed to doing that. We obviously are going to set performance measures," The Dawn quoted Clinton, as saying.

The hearing was part of a series of hearings, briefings and testimonies held on Wednesday and Thursday, requiring US officials to outline salient features of the Obama Administration's foreign policies.

The statements made in these hearings show that the new US strategy for South Asia regards Pakistan as a major threat, India as a key ally and Afghanistan as a place, which will get worse before it stabilises.

Outlines of America's new approach also reflect a desperate attempt by the US policymakers to come to grips with a situation they fear is threatening to go out of control.

Clinton told another congressional panel that the situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan topped the reasons the US was advancing its relationship with India.

Responding to a suggestion that sought to tie US aid to providing access to Dr A. Q. Khan, Clinton said: "As we develop with the Congress the kind of conditional statements that we want, we have to just be careful that what we put into legislation doesn't stop cooperation instead of further cooperation." (ANI)

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