David Hale says Pakistan is largest recipient of US international military education and training funds; cooperation will flourish as enduring partnership grows
US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale on Saturday said the people of Pakistan and the United States share a fundamental desire for peace and prosperity.
“Working together since Pakistan’s own independence, the two countries have achieved great successes in the fields ranging from energy to education and security, and have built the foundation for a long-term partnership,” Hale said.
In an Op-Ed “Building a Stronger Future for Pakistan and America”, the US ambassador said with the two-way annual trade of over $5 billion, the US and Pakistan have become strong economic partners.
“Last October in Washington, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama highlighted this economic partnership, announcing a joint action plan on trade and investment and a US-Pakistan clean energy partnership.
The US also recently launched the Pakistan private investment initiative, a partnership between the US government and Pakistan to invest over $150 million in small and medium sized enterprises in Pakistan. Moreover, I have made it a priority for the embassy to support entrepreneurial efforts of Pakistanis, particularly among women and youth,” he wrote.
He said in both Pakistan and the US, there is recognition of the critical importance of a stable energy supply to power economic growth. That is why energy is a centrepiece of US civilian assistance programme in Pakistan. The American and Pakistani cooperation has added enough power to the national grid to benefit 28 million Pakistanis. They also are focused on attracting private sector investment to develop Pakistan’s rich, renewable solar, wind, geothermal and water resources for sustainable energy. Together, we can build Pakistan’s energy capacity not just for today, but for the future.
The ambassador said the US agency for international development’s Pakistan Reading Programme aims to improve the reading ability of over one million children. The Fulbright Programme has made it possible for thousands of students from Pakistan to pursue advanced degrees in the US. Our two nations also are partnering through the Let Girls Learn-Pakistan initiative to support girls’ access to education throughout Pakistan.
Hale said the security and counterterrorism efforts are another key element of our partnership to build a prosperous and peaceful future. Pakistan has suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists and violent extremists and America stands in solidarity with the people of Pakistan and all who fight the menace of terrorism.
To support Pakistan’s efforts, America provides financing for military equipment and infrastructure, strengthening the Pakistan military’s combat and operational capabilities. Pakistan is in fact the largest recipient worldwide of international military education and training funds, which invest in the professional and human resource development of Pakistan’s military and is among the top five recipients worldwide of American foreign military financing.
Beyond military support, America has been a longstanding partner with Pakistan’s law enforcement professionals, providing millions of dollars annually since 1982 to strengthen Pakistan’s law enforcement and criminal justice systems and its capacity to fight illicit narcotics, the ambassador said.
“The length and breadth of our cooperation has seen us through challenges and I look forward to seeing our cooperation flourish as our enduring partnership grows. Through our joint efforts, we can build a stronger future for both Pakistan and America,” he concluded.