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Pak of vital strategic importance for securing Afghanistan and region: expert

By Samyuktha

Islamabad, July 19(ANI): Experts have said that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Islamabad, ahead of the Kabul Conference, will go beyond negotiating tactics regarding peace in the region.

Clinton is on a two-day Pakistan visit, where she will announce a 500 million dollar funding for new projects aimed at improving water, energy, agriculture, and health in Pakistan.

It comes directly before her attendance at this week's Kabul Conference, a meeting of 60 countries interested in Afghanistan that starts Tuesday.

The summit has been billed as a chance for the international community to ratify parameters for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders.

"The presence of Clinton is a recognition of the vital strategic importance of Pakistan in the process of trying to secure Afghanistan and the region," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Michael Semple, a top expert on the Taliban, from Islamabad, as saying.

"I think they are probably looking more broadly than just trying to set up political talks or get the Taliban into a political deal," he added.

Meanwhile, Christine Fair, a regional expert at Georgetown University in Washington, believes that the US is losing its obsession over Pakistan's denial to attack the militant centers.

"I think there's been a realization that it is not going to happen. Pakistan's interests are permanent, enduring, and structurally determinant," Fair said. (ANI)

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