As part of a regional tour that began in Afghanistan earlier in the week, Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited Pakistan yesterday and today to promote the strengthening of ties between the two countries. During meetings with the President of Pakistan Asif Zadari, Chief of the Army Pervez Ashfaq Kayani, and opposition candidate and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Senator Menendez addressed our mutual interest in counter-terrorism efforts against extremists, the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, and economic ties between the United States and Pakistan.
"In all my conversations in Pakistan, I was encouraged by the expressed commitment to addressing the terror threat that afflicts both our nations and destabilizes the region, as well as support for the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan," said Chairman Menendez. "Progress on these key issues will enable us to re-focus our bilateral relationship on deepening our political and economic ties which will benefit both our nations."
While in Pakistan, Chairman Menendez also met with civil society leaders and toured the Mangla Dam. There, the United States -- through the U.S. Agency for International Development -- is providing assistance to modernize the dam to increase its power supply by 100 megawatts, providing energy for an additional 226,000 households in Pakistan.