Pakistan and the U.S. have long been uneasy partners in the battle against global terrorism. The man behind the Sept. 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, is thought to be hiding in the mountains near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and aid to the insurgents fighting against the Americans flows through that remote region.
But the Pakistani government says it is committed to fighting extremists, who have also killed thousands of Pakistanis. As a show of good faith, the United States has announced a $2 billion military and security aid package.
"The United States has no stronger partner when it comes to counterterrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both than Pakistan," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a joint press conference with Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Quereshi.
However, in recent months the Obama administration has publicly disagreed with how the Pakistani military is fighting terrorism, claiming that "The Pakistan military has continued to avoid military engagements that would put it in direct conflict with Afghan Taliban or al-Qaida forces." Yet Pakistan attests they're doing all they can in the war effort.
"We knew that, as friends and allies, we would have, at times, differences of opinion, indeed, honest disagreements. But we have the requisite political will and robust engagement to help us resolve such momentary challenges," said Quereshi.
The new aid package would be implemented over a five-year period and provide direct assistance to the Pakistani military's war efforts against Taliban insurgents infiltrating towns and villages within the country. This is the second multi-billion dollar aid package the United States has pledged to Pakistan in less than two years. A $7.5 billion civilian aid package for the Pakistani people was passed by Congress last year, and will also be implemented over a five-year period. Even with this announcement, it still comes down to a vote from Congress after the midterm elcetions to decide if the package is funded.
"The Pakistanis have said repeatedly and repeated again today in the strategic dialogue that they are doing everything they can--we urge them to do more." --Richard Holebrooke, Special U.S. Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in response to if the Pakistan military is doing enough in their fight against terrorism.
"The United States should demand that Pakistan shut down all (Taliban) sanctuaries and military support programs for insurgents…or else we will carry out operations against those insurgent havens, with or without Pakistani consent." --Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan
1. Where is Pakistan?
2. What can you tell from it's position on the map?
3. What is terrorism?
4. Who are the Taliban?
1. According to the video, what will the $2 million aid package do for Pakistan?
2. In recent months, what has been the central disagreement between the United States and Pakistan?
3. Even after publicly disagreeing with Pakistan, why do you suppose the United States has now offered them a multi-billion dollar aid package?
Read video transcript:
Holbrooke: Pakistan Must Be Part of Regional Solutions:
U.S. Effort to Aid Pakistan Flood Victims Confronts Challenges:
Militant Groups Aid Pakistan Flood Victims: