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Pakistan must take steps to ensure military aid: Clinton

July 12, 2011 10:34 IST

Pakistan must take certain steps which the United States administration has often "outlined" to ensure the delivery of American military assistance to Islamabad, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

"The government of Pakistan must take certain steps, and we have outlined those steps on more than one occasion, to ensure that we can deliver all the military assistance that the United States has discussed with Pakistan," Clinton told reporters at a joint media interaction with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

"So our decision to pause delivery on this portion of security assistance does not signify a shift in policy but underscores the fact that our partnership depends on cooperation. That's always been the case and it must continue to be so in the future," Clinton said in response to a question as to why the US had suspended $800-million military aid to Pakistan.

She said the United States remain committed to helping Pakistan build and improve its capabilities and continue its conversations with officials as to what its financial support entails.

"We have always had certain expectations that have to be met. I would add that this is primarily or exclusively a pause in military assistance, because our civilian assistance has not been affected and we continue to work closely with the Pakistani government as to how best to deliver that civilian assistance," the Secretary of State said.

Clinton said America's relationship with Pakistan is "not always easy".

"But it's one that we do consider vital to our national security and to our regional interests. We recognise that Pakistan is a valuable ally in the fight against terrorism and it has suffered tremendous civilian and military losses in taking on those extremist elements who are threatening the Pakistani people and the state," she said.

Lalit K Jha In Washington
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