Clinton unveils long-term, non-military strategy for AFPAK

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Washington, Jan 22(ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has unveiled a long-term, non-military strategy to stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan that calls for sending more US civilian experts to the region.

Clinton reflected the Obama administration's desire to stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan, more than a month after President Barack Obama announced a military surge in the region.

It is also believed that the proposal calls for boosting Pakistan's capabilities to fight growing insurgency and to enhance the US partnership with Islamabad partly through supporting political and economic reforms.

"While our military mission in Afghanistan is not open-ended, we are committed to building lasting partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan. I believe this strategy offers the best prospect for stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan," The News quoted Clinton, as saying in a statement.

"I look forward to working with Congress to secure the non-military resources needed to achieve our mission and to signal our commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan," she said.

The chief US diplomat also called for increases of experts in Afghanistan beyond the nearly 1,000 US civilian experts due to be deployed within the next few weeks.

"We anticipate further increasing our civilian staffing in 2010 by another 20 to 30 percent, concentrating experts in the field and at key ministries that deliver vital services to the Afghan people," Clinton said. (ANI)

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