Pakistan hands over 56-page wish list to US before strategic dialogue

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Washington, Mar.24 (ANI): Unmanned Predator drones, helicopter gunships, more financial aid, a civil nuclear accord, and a direct role of the White House in reviving the stalled Indo-Pak composite dialogue are some of the 'marked' requirements in the 56-page wish list that Pakistan has handed over to the United States just ahead of the strategic dialogue.

The document also requests for greater cooperation between Pakistani spy agency (the ISI) and US intelligence outfits.

Islamabad also wants a role in any future talks between the West backed Afghanistan and the Taliban.

According to a Pakistani official, who refused to be named, Islamabad's fears of being outflanked by New Delhi, which has forged close ties with Kabul, are reflected in the document's 'indirect' language about regional security issues.

The wish list also raises concerns about India's effort to modernise its military, in part through buying US equipment and weapons, The Nation reports.

When asked about the details of the wish list, the Pakistan military's spokesperson, Major General Athar Abbas confirmed its presence but refused to divulge any detail regarding it.

Commenting on the reports, spokesman for the National Security Council, Michael Hammer said the White House is looking forward to Wednesday's (March 24) dialogue but denied to comment on Pakistan's specific proposals, which were made during a series of meetings between Pakistani and US officials in the recent past.

"During the course of those discussions, a considerable number of ideas, initiatives, and opportunities have been brought up by both sides," Hammer said, adding: "We are not prepared to comment on any one set of ideas other than to say that we are encouraged by an open and robust dialogue."

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has played down the chance of any big announcement of fresh aid at the end of the talks, saying the dialogue would focus on strengthening long-term bilateral ties.

"I would not look to this, at the end of it, for there to be some great announcement about any hard items that are being produced as a result of the conversations," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters. This is a dialogue designed to produce a better long-term strategic relationship ... this is not simply about asking and receiving items," Morrell added. (ANI)

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