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Obama pledges to work with 'peace-loving' Pak

By Lalit K Jha
March 23, 2010 09:16 IST
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Greeting people of Pakistan on the occasion of its National Day, United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to remain a partner of all Pakistanis who 'seek to build a future of peace and prosperity.'

Sending his best wishes to the people of Pakistan and all those of Pakistani descent in America and around the world observing Pakistan National Day, Obama said, "Seventy years ago, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and those of the independence generation declared their dreams of self-determination and democracy. Today, the people of Pakistan are carrying on the great work of Quaid-e Azam," Obama said in his message issued on the occasion of Pakistan National Day, being marked on March 23.

"In these efforts, the American people are proud to join in the education, health and economic partnerships that can improve the daily lives of Pakistanis and their families," he said.

"Here in the United States, our country is enriched by the many Pakistani Americans who excel as doctors, small business owners, students, members of our armed forces and in many other fields," he added.

"On this National Day, we give thanks for the contributions of these fellow Americans, and the United States pledges to remain a partner of all Pakistanis who seek to build a future of peace and prosperity," Obama said.

Earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her message said the Obama administration is supporting Pakistan in its fight against extremism that poses threat to its existence and also the region and the other parts of the world.

"The United States is supporting Pakistan's efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, foster economic development, expand opportunity, and defeat the extremist groups who threaten Pakistan, the region, and even our own country," Clinton said.

"Our broad partnership is based on mutual respect and mutual interest, and this dialogue will be an opportunity to forge even closer ties between our nations," Clinton said in a video message to the people of Pakistan issued on the eve of the Pakistan's National Day.

"Pakistan is close to my heart, and I have been privileged to make five visits over the years. And I have seen firsthand how special your country is -- rich with history and culture, blessed with natural beauty, and home to people of unforgettable warmth and strength," she said.

Clinton along with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Muhammad Qureshi chairs the first US Pakistani Strategic Dialogue, being held in Washington on Wedneday.

"Today, your country is suffering from terrorism and your security forces and civilians are making great sacrifices to fight extremists. The people of the United States will stand by and support Pakistani efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous future," Clinton said.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington, DC
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