19 Jul 2010

'We care about ordinary Pakistanis too' - Clinton

8:16 pm on 19 July 2010

The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has announced new aid projects for Pakistan, at the start of talks in the capital, Islamabad.

The five-year package includes two hydro-electric dam projects funded with billions of dollars allocated to Pakistan by the US Congress last year.

The BBC reports that Mrs Clinton said the US wanted to show it cared about ordinary Pakistanis, not just securing Islamabad's co-operation in the fight against militants.

"We know that there is a perception held by too many Pakistanis that America's commitment to them begins and ends with security," she said.

"We have not done a good enough job of connecting our partnership with concrete improvements in the lives of Pakistanis. With this dialogue, we are working to change that."

Steps to tackle militants expected

The BBC's correspondent travelling with Mrs Clinton notes that she also said the US expected Pakistanis to take extra steps to tackle militants.

Mrs Clinton told the BBC she worried all the time about the possibility of an attack against the US emanating from Pakistan, and warned such an attack would have a "devastating impact" on relations between Washington and Islamabad.

As well as two dams, Mrs Clinton unveiled funding for drinking water and irrigation projects, and health centres.