US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce Monday a massive aid deal for Pakistan, a senior US official said, as it seeks to buttress a shaky partnership with its wavering anti-terror ally.
The money will focus on vital energy and water sectors, the official said, shortly after Hillary arrived in Islamabad on Sunday for high-level talks, adding that full details of the projects would be announced on Monday.
The projects will be part of a five-year, 7.5 billion-dollar aid package approved by US Congress last year, which hopes to temper anti-Americanism in Pakistan by building schools, infrastructure and democratic institutions. The plan includes several water dam projects in the areas of Gomal Zam, Satpara and Balochistan.
Three hospitals will also be renovated and expanded in Karachi, Lahore and Jacobabad.
Two specific programmes are to be devoted to agriculture, one for the training of farmers in dairy production, and the other to increase production and export of mangoes.
Hillary is due to hold meetings on Monday with high-level political and military figures to further a “strategic dialogue”, and announce details of a huge aid deal aimed at chipping away at anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.
The Secretary of State flew into Islamabad ahead of evening talks with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari.
US officials kept details of Hillary’s visit under wraps prior to her arrival amid sharp security concerns following a wave of suicide bombings and militant attacks in Pakistan itself.
Hillary’s visit comes ahead of her trip to Afghanistan on Tuesday for a major international donor conference, and as Washington continues to push Islamabad for further steps to rid its western border of militants.