Asserting that US assistance to Pakistan was "not charity", President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that urgent American aid including modern military equipment was required to help his country defeat extremists which would be also in Washington's interest.
"Give us the tools, and we will get the job done," Zardari said, adding American aid to Pakistan was in US' "long-term, strategic interest".
The president's remarks came while making a case for massive US aid to save Pakistan from the brink of economic
collapse and to make it stable to defeat extremists, as he appealed to Washington to give it necessary tools including
modern military equipment.
In a special opinion piece published in The Washington Post, Zardari said, "Obama understands that for Pakistan to defeat the extremists, it must be stable." For democracy to succeed, Pakistan must be economically viable, he added.
"Assistance to Pakistan is not charity; rather, the creation of a politically stable and economically viable Pakistan is in the long-term, strategic interest of the United States," Zardari said.
Zardari said the Obama administration should immediately encourage Congress to pass the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act.
The multi-year, USD 1.5 billion annual commitment to social progress here would signal to the people of Pakistan
that this is no longer a relationship of political convenience but, rather, of shared values and goals, he said.
"Strengthening our democracy and helping us to improve education, housing and health care is the greatest tool we
could wield against extremism. Indeed, such policy is the fanatics' worst fear," Zardari said.