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The United States seeks a stronger partnership with Pakistan, said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "We seek not to impose our preferences on Pakistan or to override the government's judgments or subvert the people's will. Instead," said Secretary Clinton, "we want a relationship based on mutual respect and shared responsibility."

The United States has taken major steps in recent months to support Pakistan as it seeks to strengthen democratic institutions, foster economic development, expand opportunity, and defeat the extremist groups who threaten both Pakistan's security and America's.

The U.S. has provided about half of the international assistance to displaced families in Pakistan's tribal areas, including families from Swat, Buner, Bajaur, and South Waziristan. Another part of U.S. assistance includes efforts to help repair and upgrade key power stations in an effort to end chronic energy shortages that have caused blackouts across Pakistan, leaving families in the dark for days, forcing factories and businesses to close.

But to achieve long-term progress, Pakistan must strengthen its democratic institutions. This will help the government become more responsive to its citizens, build broad support for future government initiatives, and ensure that the needs of all the people of Pakistan are taken into account. The U.S. has significantly increased civilian aid to Pakistan to support progress toward a stronger democracy.

Meanwhile, security continues to be a vital concern, as innocent Pakistani men, women and children are killed in terrorist attacks. The Pakistani military has taken on the fight against the Pakistani Taliban, and the U.S. has increased its efforts to help.

Pakistan has a promising future, said Secretary Clinton: to become a beacon of democracy and a model of development, not only in South Asia, but globally and particularly in the Muslim world.

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