About the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
The final working group meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue took place July 8, when Pakistani and U.S. officials met to discuss ways to increase law enforcement cooperation and combat terrorism.
This is the first time this group has met since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi launched the U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington, D.C., in March of this year.
The Pakistan side was led by Senator A. Rehman Malik, Pakistan's Minister of Interior, and the U.S. side was co-chaired by Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State; and Mr. Bruce Swartz, U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice. Both sides were assisted by senior officials from relevant departments and ministries.
The U.S. delegation acknowledged the challenges Pakistan faces and praised the government's efforts in addressing the terrorist threat. The U.S. officials recognized the courage and extraordinary sacrifices made by Pakistan's law enforcement agencies and the public in the fight against terrorism. The Pakistani side also expressed appreciation for the U.S. support and assistance provided to Pakistan's law enforcement agencies in support of their counter-terrorism efforts.
The delegates discussed the terrorist threat and explored ways to increase law enforcement cooperation and civilian capacity to counter those threats. Both groups shared insights into the challenges and best practices in combating terrorist groups and their support networks. The delegates discussed ways to strengthen law enforcement and judicial capacity and enhance counterterrorism legislation. The two sides agreed to discuss establishing a working group to strengthen border management to allow for the effective flow of legal goods and services but at the same time stop terrorists' transit and the smuggling of contraband. The group reviewed mechanisms to detect and deter financing of terrorist groups and discussed ways to increase cooperation and information sharing on terror financiers. Finally, both sides reaffirmed their unified commitment to strengthen engagement in combating the common enemy of terrorism.