Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Pakistani officials in Islamabad on May 27, 2011. Following their discussions, Secretary Clinton said:
"Admiral Mullen and I have just completed a very extensive, open, frank, and constructive discussion with the leadership of Pakistan -- with the president, the prime minister, the chief of staff of the army, General Kayani, the head of ISI, General Pasha, and with representatives from the foreign office and the interior ministry.
"I have to begin by expressing appreciation for the warm welcome that we both received and the open dialogue that was the hallmark of our hours together. The United States and Pakistan have been friends for a very long time. We have a relationship that is rooted in mutual respect and mutual interests, so there is always a lot to talk about. But this was an especially important visit because we have reached a turning point. Usama bin Ladin is dead, but al-Qaida and its syndicate of terror remain a serious threat to us both. There is momentum toward political reconciliation in Afghanistan, but the insurgency continues to operate from safe havens here in Pakistan. And the Pakistani people are standing courageously for their democracy and their future, but the country continues to face enormous economic, political, and security challenges.
"The United States has been clear and consistent about our expectations for this relationship. We have strong interests in the region and we are pursuing them vigorously. These are not uniquely American aims. We believe that Pakistanis pursue the same goals and share the same hopes. We seek to defeat violent extremism, end the conflict in Afghanistan, and ensure a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous future for Pakistan. And we expect to work closely with the government and the people of Pakistan to achieve those ends.
"First, the fight against violent extremism. For the past decade, many of the world's most vicious terrorists, including al-Qaida's most important leaders, have been living in Pakistan. From here, they have targeted innocent people all over the world -- in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and far beyond. But no nation has sacrificed more lives in this struggle against violent extremism than Pakistan has. Extremists have killed women and children, blown up mosques and markets, and shown no regard for human life or dignity.
"The United States and Pakistan have worked together to kill or capture many of these terrorists here on Pakistani soil. This could not have been done without close cooperation between our governments, our militaries, and our intelligence agencies. But we both recognize there is still much more work required and it is urgent. Today, we discussed in even greater detail cooperation to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida, and to drive them from Pakistan and the region. We will do our part and we look to the Government of Pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead. Joint action against al-Qaida and its affiliates will make Pakistan, America, and the world safer and more secure.
"But I want to underscore a point that I made in public in the last weeks and made again privately today to the president, the prime minister, and others. There is absolutely no evidence that anyone at the highest levels of the Pakistani Government knew that Usama bin Ladin was living just miles from where we are today. And we know that al-Qaida has been a source of great pain and suffering to the leadership that has been in every way attempting to eradicate the threat that is posed. But we know we have to redouble our efforts together. That is the way forward.
"Second, on Afghanistan, both our nations have an interest in a safe, stable Afghanistan that is not a source of insecurity for its neighbors or others. And we need to work together to achieve that goal. As part of America's strategy, we are supporting an Afghan-led process that seeks to split the Taliban from al-Qaida and reconcile those insurgents who will renounce violence and accept the constitution of Afghanistan. And we know that for reconciliation to succeed, Pakistan must be a part of that process. Many of the leaders of the Taliban continue to live in Pakistan, and Pakistan has very legitimate interests in the outcome of this process. And those interests need to be respected and addressed. But we also discussed that Pakistan has a responsibility to help us help Afghanistan by preventing insurgents from waging war from Pakistani territory.
"Today, we discussed Pakistan's perspective on Afghanistan and how it can support the international community's efforts there. And we look forward to putting those words into action and seeing momentum toward a political resolution. We think that the recently held trilaterals between the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- one here in Islamabad, one in Kabul -- are a very important step toward the resolution in Afghanistan.
"A third major area where America's and Pakistan's interests intersect is the future of this country itself. In recent years, the United States has tried to be a very good friend to Pakistan. We have repeatedly delivered on what we promised by providing billions of dollars in new assistance to address Pakistan's energy and other economic challenges. We've expanded assistance to your security forces. And we led ongoing international relief efforts to respond to last year's devastating floods. We've built the largest educational and cultural exchange program anywhere in the world as an investment in the youth of Pakistan. And we launched a Strategic Dialogue that brings our governments together to discuss the full range of common concerns. And we agreed that this work must continue. It continued today and it will continue tomorrow.
"We are prepared to stand by the Pakistani people for the long haul. The United States knows that Pakistan's future is imperatively important for us, but even more so for the people themselves, and we look toward a strong Pakistan, one that is democratic, one that is prosperous and stable, being a cornerstone for regional stability and global security. That is why the United States will continue to support Pakistan's sovereignty, its civilian-elected government, and above all, its people.
"But let me be clear, as I was today, America cannot and should not solve Pakistan's problems. That's up to Pakistan. But in solving its problems, Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make problems disappear. It is up to the Pakistani people to choose what kind of country they wish to live in. And it is up to the leaders of Pakistan to deliver results for the people. There is still a lot of work to be done to reduce corruption and grow the economy, to rebuild from the floods, to get electricity more readily available, to make progress in eliminating extremists and their sanctuaries.
"So there are hard choices to make, and we should proceed in a spirit of openness and candor, because part of friendship is speaking honestly and telling each other our perspectives and, where necessary, even difficult truths as we see them. We have shared interests, we have common challenges, and yes, we have areas of disagreement. During Pakistan's first winter as a young nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah said, 'We are going through fire. The sunshine has yet to come.' But his confidence in the resilience and determination of the Pakistani people never wavered. And the years have vindicated his faith.
"As we look ahead from this pivotal moment, that determination by the Pakistani people themselves will be more important than ever. I believe that Pakistan's best days are ahead, and the United States wants to be there as you move into a future that realizes the promise of your beginning. And we will stand with you and support you as you make the tough decisions to have the kind of country and future that the people of Pakistan deserve."
You read the Secretary's full remarks with Admiral Mullen here.