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No more lip service now: US tells Pak

Concerned over increasing influence of Taliban in Pakistan, the United States on Wednesday told top leadership in Islamabad that the "era of lip service was over" and it was now time to work plans and be very specific.
By Lalit K Jha | PTI, Washington
UPDATED ON MAY 07, 2009 03:10 AM IST

Concerned over increasing influence of Taliban in Pakistan, the United States on Wednesday told top leadership in Islamabad that the "era of lip service was over" and it was now time to work plans and be very specific.

Talking to reporters after her meetings with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she told each of them that the three countries would basically have work plans and they all need to be very specific.

"A lot of lip service was paid in the past that did not translate into better lives, more safety, more security, economic development for the people of Pakistan," she said in response to a question.

"We want to know what we have agreed to, what they have agreed to, how we're going to proceed toward meeting those goals and objectives, and timetables that will be utilized to keep all of us focused on the job ahead,"she said.

Terming the meetings as "breakthrough", Clinton said both countries have made commitments, but she said the details of which are still being worked out and would be announced at the end of the two-day trilateral meetings on Thursday.

However, the Secretary of State did refer to some of the commitments made by the US. She said the US would establish a training program, the Borlaug Fellows training program; architect of the green revolution in India.

The Obama Administration, Clinton said, is also looking to deepen the work on the cross-border issues, joint parliamentary exchanges and military training, border coordination centers.

"We want broader-based law enforcement reform, a vigorous anti-corruption agenda that removes the impunity that too often has existed in the past," she said.

Given the complexity of the situation in Af-Pak region, Clinton acknowledged that just two trilateral meeting is not going to solve all the problems. "This is simply the beginning of a long process."

"I'm very optimistic that this process is making a difference. I'm realistic enough to know that, you know, two meetings does not necessarily turn around the many difficult and complex challenges that confront these two countries and us and our relationship to them," she said.

"It (the new Af-Pak strategy) may not give you a story every day, but hopefully it will give us all a better story next year and the years to come," Clinton added.

During the meetings, she said the two presidents spoke very movingly about terrorism in the region. "I think that they are committed to this conflict being resolved and their being able to produce more peace and security," she said.

Clinton also said the three countries are also working towards creating an atmosphere and a reality of candor and openness between them. "I think that is way overdue," she said.

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