Pakistan wants more from US

* WP report says Gilani emphasised the need to 'expedite' new US aid package 
after meeting with Holbrooke 
* Kayani likely to press requests for increased military aid

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: Pakistan warned US special envoy Richard Holbrooke on Tuesday it 
expected more from the United States in return for its cooperation against Al 
Qaeda and the Taliban, a Washington Post report says.

Statements issued by President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza 
Gilani, after meeting with the envoy, emphasised the need to 'expedite' a new 
US aid package, and "the importance of enhanced cooperation in defence and 
intelligence sharing". Holbrooke only said that he was there "to listen and 
learn the ground realities".

In Washington, US officials said that while a revised strategy would 
acknowledge Pakistan's crucial role, developing a new relationship was likely 
to be a long process. "Not having patience makes all the sense in the world in 
terms of the Afghanistan threat," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral 
Michael Mullen said in a recent interview. But in Pakistan, he said "there is 
not a quick answer", and any new US strategy would have to "recognise the 
tension" between the short- and long-term objectives.

The next step, the officials said, would be a visit to the US later this month 
by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani, whom Mullen credited with a 
number of positive steps including: replacing the former head of Pakistan's 
intelligence service, who was widely mistrusted by the CIA; appointing a new 
chief for the Frontier Corps; and doubling Frontier Corps salaries.

Increased aid: Gen Kayani is likely to press requests for increased military 
aid in several categories, including Cobra attack helicopters, night-vision 
equipment, and equipment to jam extremist radio transmissions, intercept 
satellite telephone communications, and improve communication among Pakistani 
military units in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Pakistan would also like at least to "be in the room" when targeting decisions 
for CIA aerial drone attacks in the FATA are made, a senior Pakistani official 
said. Pakistan also wanted more funding stability, he added. In the news 
conference following a meeting with Holbrooke, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood 
Qureshi said Pakistan and the US would have "to sit together to understand the 
implications" of a planned doubling of US troops in Afghanistan this year, and 
there would have to be an accompanying 'civilian surge' in Pakistan. "By 
civilian surge," he said, "I mean greater focus on socio-economic development 
and greater political engagement with the reconcilable elements" among 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is reformulating a massive US 
development assistance programme for Pakistan, including at least $1.5 billion 
annually for the next five years. Committee chairman Sen John F Kerry said the 
amount of aid might be increased in legislation that he said was likely to be 
completed "in a matter of days". The legislation will include benchmarks 
allowing Congress to judge Pakistan's performance. "We have no problems with 
greater transparency and accountability," a Pakistani official told the 
Washington Post. "But the funding cannot stop."

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