U.S. Secretary of State Clinton and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Qureshi
WASHINGTON - AFP
The United States has encouraged Pakistan, recipient of billions of US aid dollars in recent years, to "continue efforts" on its economic reforms, according to
a joint statement.
"The United States recognized the measures that Pakistan implemented in recent months to expand revenue collection and control this year's fiscal deficit," said the document, released after a high-level meeting.
The United States "encouraged the government of Pakistan to continue efforts to strengthen the sustainability of its fiscal framework over time and to build broad consensus for these measures."
"Major structural reforms, including in the energy sector, remain necessary to help create the conditions for strong growth and employment creation," it added.
Washington, an ally of Islamabad in the fight against radical Islamists, last year advised Pakistan to broaden its tax base in order to become more financially independent.
Pakistan's minister of finance, Hafeez Shaikh, participated in the meeting with US officials including Thomas Nides, deputy secretary of state for management and resources.
Pakistan, a nuclear state, is a key ally for Washington in the US-led war in Afghanistan, despite lingering difficulties and tensions. The United States is particularly unpopular with the vast majority of the Pakistani population.