The White House Office of the Press Secretary
March 4, 2006
United States and Pakistan: Long-Term Strategic Partners
"Five years ago, Pakistan was one of only three nations that recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. That all changed after September the 11th. President Musharraf understood that he had to make a fundamental choice for his people. He could turn a blind eye and leave his people hostage to terrorists, or he could join the free world in fighting the terrorists. President Musharraf made the right choice, and the United States of America is grateful for his leadership. ... Pakistan now has the opportunity to write a new chapter in its history, and the United States wants to build a broad and lasting strategic partnership with the people of Pakistan."--President George W. Bush, February 22, 2006
The U.S.-Pakistan partnership is broad-based, strategic, and long term. Pakistan is a vital ally in the War on Terror. Pakistan is making progress toward democracy. And the United States and Pakistan are strengthening economic ties to expand freedom and prosperity in Pakistan.
The United States is committed to an enduring partnership with Pakistan and is determined to stand by Pakistan for the long run. The United States will continue to support Pakistan's capabilities in the War on Terror and to meet other legitimate defense needs.
The U.S.-Pakistan strategic partnership is based on the shared interests of the two countries in building a stable and sustainable democracy and in promoting peace, security, stability, prosperity, and democracy in South Asia and across the globe. Under this strategic partnership, President Bush and President Musharraf are launching a Strategic Dialogue that will meet regularly to review issues of mutual interest.
The two countries are working together on a variety of issues, including:
WAR ON TERROR:
- The United States and Pakistan have cooperated closely in the common fight against terrorism, including along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
- Pakistan has captured more than 700 al-Qaida operatives, facilitators, and associates since September 11, 2001.
- Pakistan's military is also playing an important role by providing intelligence and support to Coalition forces operating on the Afghanistan side of the border.
- Pakistan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. security assistance.
- The United States has pledged $1.5 billion of Foreign Military Financing to Pakistan from 2005-2009.
- The United States supports Pakistan's defense needs through sales of advanced systems.
- Last year, the President also announced the United States' intention to move forward with the possible sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan.
- In June 2004, President Bush designated Pakistan as a Major Non-NATO Ally, making Pakistan one of a select group of nations outside of NATO that have the benefit of a variety of military and financial advantages conferred by the United States.
- Pakistan is supporting non-proliferation efforts by implementing regulations for a new export control law, including adoption of enforcement regulations and establishment of a new export licensing body.
- Pakistan is joining the U.S. Container Security Initiative. All maritime cargo destined for the United States through the port of Qasim will be pre-screened to prevent smuggling of terrorist weapons.
- The United States strongly supports Pakistan's efforts to develop robust, transparent, and representative democratic institutions open to participation by all Pakistanis, as well as conduct elections that reflect the will of the Pakistani people and that meet international standards.
TRADE AND INVESTMENT:
- The United States encourages economic prosperity in Pakistan by supporting increased trade and investment linkages with the United States, the region, and the global economy. These efforts include:
- Making meaningful progress toward concluding a Bilateral Investment Treaty that will send a strong signal about Pakistan's improving investment climate;
- Working with Congress and U.S. stakeholders to develop Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) that would assist desperately poor border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan to grow and diversify economically; and
- Enhancing our capacity-building assistance to strengthen private sector competitiveness and expand Pakistan's integration with regional and global markets.
Earthquake Relief and Reconstruction:
- Consistent with our humanitarian values, the United States responded immediately and generously to Pakistan's call for assistance. The United States pledged $510 million to support the relief and reconstruction efforts of the Pakistani Government over the next four years.
- This is in addition to a 5-year, $1.5 billion commitment to Pakistan to support education, health, economic growth, and governance programs throughout the country.
- As part of the relief effort, the United States has helped establish 228 tent schools, improved shelter for 550,000 Pakistanis, supported the food needs for more than 1 million Pakistanis, and provided cash-for-work opportunities to 45,000 Pakistanis.
- The United States has flown about 5,000 helicopter flights that delivered more than 23 million pounds of relief supplies, provided medical care to more than 25,000 Pakistanis, and supplied critical engineering support.
- The United States has transferred approximately $8 million in medical, engineering, and flight-refueling assets to the Government of Pakistan to continue assisting those affected by the earthquake.
- The United States is committed to working with the Pakistani people to help "build back better" and signed a four-year, $200 million agreement with the Government of Pakistan for an earthquake reconstruction program. In the first year, construction will start on 60 schools, a hospital, and 24 basic health clinics. The United States will also train Pakistanis in earthquake-resistant construction techniques.
- The United States has provided more than $130 million to strengthen education programs for young people and adults over the last four years.
- The United States' Fulbright Program for Pakistan has expanded to become the largest in the world.
- The United States and Pakistan will establish a bilateral education dialogue to enhance U.S.-Pakistan educational cooperation.