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Clinton Seeks to Strengthen US-Pakistani Relations

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan's cultural center, Lahore, Thursday for a spirited town hall discussion with university students. It is the second day of Clinton's three-day visit, which is focused on strengthening bi-lateral relations with Pakistan.

Secretary Clinton urged students from the Government College University in Lahore to unite against extremists who threaten to destabilize the country.

"This is a fight that has to be won," said Hillary Clinton. "And you know here in Lahore, that you are not immune. No institution is immune."

Two weeks ago, gunmen launched three separate attacks in one day on security sites across the city.

Clinton's visit to Lahore also comes a day after a car bomb killed more than 100 people in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

She stressed to the students that the United States' commitment to Pakistan goes beyond security issues.

"I am proud to announce that the United States will give $45 million to Pakistan's Higher Education Commission," she said.

She said the money will go to help educate those displaced by violence as well as others in economically vulnerable areas.

Associate Professor of International Relations at Quaid-i-Azam University, Ishtiaq Ahmad, says these initiatives show a new approach by the Obama administration.

"I think it will go a long way in letting Pakistanis understand that America is not here to pursue just another strategic interest in the region," said Ishtiaq Ahmad. "It is here for a long haul."

Ahmad says civilian partnership will be more effective than military tactics to defeat terrorism in the long term.

While in Lahore, Clinton also met with Pakistani business leaders and members of the opposition.

She is expected to end her trip to Pakistan in Islamabad by meeting with residents from the country's troubled northwest, as well as young leaders and religious scholars.