Pak message to US: Walk the talk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi today said the need to

rebuild trust with the US was key to upcoming

talks and called on Washington to follow up words with action.

“My message to the US is that the time has come to walk the talk,” he told a news conference in Islamabad. Qureshi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are scheduled to lead talks in Washington next week aimed at boosting the economy and security

of Pakistan. They will chair the March 24 talks on

economic development, education, agriculture

and security.

“I believe our forthcoming dialogue will provide a good opportunity to re-build confidence and trust on both sides,” said Qureshi, adding: “we need to build comfort on all sides”.

“We want these talks to be broad based and that is why I am proposing a completely different format for interaction between the two countries.”

President Barack Obama’s administration has sought to engage more deeply with Pakistan, which has long seen Washington as interested only in securing its military cooperation in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Qureshi said the Pakistani foreign minister and US secretary of state should meet annually and the Pakistani foreign secretary and US regional envoy Richard Holbrooke should hold talks twice a year.