ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, April 2 (UPI) -- Washington has agreed to provide Pakistan with security assistance needed to join the regional fight against extremists, the Pakistani foreign minister said.
Washington has linked Pakistani stability to its revised war plan in Afghanistan. Pakistani military forces, for their part, have clashed with Taliban and al-Qaida-backed militants for years.
A U.S. measure authorizes military assistance to help Pakistan in its fight against al-Qaida and other insurgents, focusing specifically on counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism measures. Washington recently agreed to deliver surveillance drones to the Pakistani military as well.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told lawmakers Friday in Islamabad that he was confident Washington would agree to a multi-year security package for his country, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports.
He said that Washington agreed to release a "substantial amount" of aid by the end of April and clear any backlogs by the end of June.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Qureshi in Washington last week, heralding a "new dawn" in bilateral ties.
Qureshi said he told his Washington counterpart that his country had an urgent need for assistance in tackling regional security issues.