U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today completed a 3-day visit to Pakistan. In her meetings and public events in both Islamabad and Lahore, Secretary Clinton underscored America’s desire to build a broad and deep partnership with Pakistan based on mutual trust and respect that both combats violent extremists and strengthens Pakistan’s democratically elected government and civilian institutions to serve Pakistan’s people.
In addition to Secretary Clinton’s official meetings, she also participated in a number of town hall and civil society engagements - in addition to media roundtables each day with television, print, and radio journalists – to connect directly with the people of Pakistan.
Day 1 – Islamabad, Pakistan
In Islamabad on October 28, the Secretary met with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani at the Prime Minister’s Residence. Secretary Clinton also attended a lottery drawing that is part of the Benazir Income Support Program honoring the late Benazir Bhutto. The program provides support to Pakistan’s poorest women and their families. She then ended her first day with a meeting and dinner hosted by President Asif Ali Zardari at the Presidential Residence.
Throughout the first day, Secretary Clinton announced a number of major contributions to Pakistan:
Day 2 – Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan
On October 29, Secretary Clinton continued emphasizing the Obama Administration’s efforts to broadly expand and deepen U.S. – Pakistan official and people-to-people relations, consistent with the democratic ideals of both nations.
Secretary Clinton began her day in Islamabad with a visit to the shrine of the Sufi Saint Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi, the Bari Imam, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. She then traveled to Lahore, where she visited the memorial for Pakistan’s national leader Allama Iqbal and the 17th century Badshahi Mosque, one of the largest in South Asia, constructed by Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal Emperor.
At the historic Government College University, Secretary Clinton met with a group of Lahore-based lawyers and civil society leaders and addressed a student audience at the College’s auditorium. In both meetings, the Secretary reiterated America’s strong support for Pakistan’s successful return to democratic governance last year and her vision of a broad relationship between Pakistan and the United States based on mutual respect and shared values.
Throughout the second day, Secretary Clinton announced:
The Secretary also met with Punjab Chief Minister Shabaz Sharif and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, leaders of the political opposition, and spoke to Lahore’s business community at an event hosted by Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer.
Reflecting the growing importance of the bilateral relationship, the Secretary participated in a program in which she elevated the U.S. diplomatic presence in Lahore from Consulate to Consulate General status.
Upon returning to Islamabad, Secretary Clinton met with Chief of Army staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director for Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. General Ahmad Shuja Pasha to discuss the recent operations in South Waziristan and areas of mutual interest.
Day 3 – Islamabad, Pakistan
In Islamabad on October 30, Secretary Clinton met with political and community leaders from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where she underscored American support for humanitarian and livelihood assistance, education, media and communications for people living in these areas of conflict. The Secretary expressed U.S. condolences for the victims of recent terror attacks in Pakistan and strong support for the sacrifices being made by Pakistan’s army in its current engagement against extremists. Secretary Clinton also engaged the local leaders in a discussion about the political and security situations in their areas.
In a televised town hall meeting with Pakistani women, hosted by five of Pakistan’s top women journalists, the Secretary again addressed America’s desire to build a broad, more comprehensive relationship with Pakistan based on mutual trust and respect.
In a rare and historic visit by a Secretary of State, Secretary Clinton also met with newly-elected parliamentarians at the National Assembly, where she reassured them of America’s strong support for the country’s return to democracy. They discussed social, economic and political areas of mutual interest
Later, at the Police Lines Headquarters in Rawalpindi, the Secretary paid tribute to Pakistani police officers who seek to protect civilians and suffer the brunt of terrorist attacks. Prior to departure, the Secretary attended an Embassy reception highlighting Pakistan’s rich artistic and cultural heritage.