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US pledges billions more for Pakistan military

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US pledges billions more for Pakistan military


The United States is to give Pakistan an extra two billion dollars (1.43 billion euros) to help fight Islamist insurgents.

The announcement came after talks between the two countries which were meant, in part, to dispel doubts over the health of their strategic relationship.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “I want to say publicly what many of us have said privately: the United States has no stronger partner than Pakistan when it comes to counter-terrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both.
We will request two billion dollars in foreign military assistance from Congress for 2012 through 2016.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi rejected claims of a falling out between Washington and Islamabad, saying: “Prophets of doom are back in business painting doomsday scenarios about our alliance. They are dead wrong.”

The two billion dollars will come on top of a 7.5 billion dollar (5.4 billion euro) pledge already passed by Congress last year.

Washington has been pressing Pakistan to do more to fight the insurgency in its safe havens near the Afghan border.

But ties between the two have been strained. US drone attacks on Pakistani soil have aggravated public opinion there. One such incident earlier this month killed two Pakistani border guards.

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