Washington, July 18 : The United States has said 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 U. S. 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 Express Tribune quoted a State Department spokesperson, as saying.
"Civilian assistance to Pakistan has been ongoing throughout the closure of the NATO supply lines and has continued after their opening," the spokesperson added.
While figures for the current fiscal year are not yet available, since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation in October 2009, the U. S. government has disbursed 2.8 billion dollars in civilian assistance, including approximately 1 billion dollars 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," he further said. (ANI)