WASHINGTON: The United States said on Tuesday that it remains committed to a “strong, mutually respectful” relationship with Pakistan and that civil assistance programmes had continued through the Nato supply closure.
“We consider bilateral US civilian assistance to be an important component of that relationship and believe it can help Pakistan become a more prosperous, stable, and democratic state, which serves the national interests of both the United States and Pakistan,” the State Department said in response to a question about American assistance for Pakistan.
“Civilian assistance to Pakistan has been ongoing throughout the closure of the Nato supply lines and has continued after their opening,” the spokesperson continued.
While figures for the current fiscal year are not yet available, since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation in October 2009, the US government has disbursed $2.8 billion in civilian assistance, including approximately $1 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance, the Department said.
“Our non-humanitarian civilian assistance funds are spent in five priority sectors: energy, economic growth, stabilisation of vulnerable areas, education, and health. Notably, in 2011 the people of the United States supported the construction of 210 kilometers of road in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, funded the world’s largest Fulbright exchange program, and sponsored initiatives promoting private sector growth and civil society development in Pakistan.”
With regard to Coalition Support Funds, the spokesperson said that reporters would have to refer to to the Department of Defense.