PAKISTAN sent a 56-page document to the US ahead of strategic talks scheduled for Wednesday (today), seeking expanded military and economic aid in what some American officials believe is an implicit offer to crack down in return on the Afghan Taliban, reported Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The previously undisclosed document includes requests ranging from US help to alleviate Pakistans chronic water and power shortages to pleas for surveillance aircraft and support in developing the countrys civilian nuclear programme. US officials say the document and the talks surrounding it could help redefine one of Americas thorniest foreign-policy relationships, if it leads to a serious Pakistani clampdown on the Taliban. The Taliban use Pakistan, a US ally, as its rear base in its fight against American and allied forces in neighbouring Afghanistan, and has often relied on clandestine support from elements of Pakistans national security establishment. But in the past few months, Pakistan has rounded up several senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban on its soil, and last year it began a series of offensives against the Pakistan offshoot of the Afghan movement. US officials are keen to see those moves broadened as a key to shifting the momentum of the Afghan war. Right now, were looking at something that could deliver a big part of our success in Afghanistan, said a senior US military official, speaking of the document and talks. The document outlines a range of aid Pakistan is seeking from the US, say American and Pakistani officials who have seen it or been briefed on its contents. A high-level meeting between senior Pakistani and US officials in Washington on Wednesday aims to stitch together their fraying alliance. Many of Pakistans requests build on longstanding demands for more US assistance. But officials on both sides say that by detailing them in a single comprehensive document, Islamabad is trying to signal its willingness to align its interests with those of Washington, its vision for a partnership - and its price. Among the requests is greater cooperation between its spy agency and US intelligence outfits, more helicopter gunships and other military hardware needed to battle its own Taliban insurgency, and improved surveillance technology, such as pilotless drone aircraft. Pakistan also wants a civilian nuclear energy cooperation deal with the US, and a role in any future peace talks between the Western-backed Afghan government and the Taliban. Pakistans fears of being outflanked by India, which has forged close ties to the Afghan government, are reflected in the documents indirect language about regional security issues, Pakistani officials say. The document raises concerns about Indias effort to modernise its military, in part through buying US equipment and weapons. It urges Washington to take a direct role in reviving the peace process between India and Pakistan, which stalled after the November 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai. If officials this week can begin setting the US relationship with Pakistan on a footing of greater trust and military cooperation, it would mark a success for the Obama administrations foreign policy at a time when key relations with other nations, from ally Israel to nemesis Iran, are strained. In response to the document, officials say the Pentagon is considering up to $500 million in additional military aid to Pakistan, paid through the Coalition Support Fund, an account used to reimburse Pakistan for military activities taken in support of US operations in Afghanistan. Last year, the US provided $2.8 billion in economic and security aid to Islamabad. A spokesman for Pakistans military, Maj Gen Athar Abbas, confirmed the documents existence and the militarys input, but he declined to discuss its contents. Aides to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagons primary interlocutor with Pakistans military leadership, confirmed his staff had received the document and were analysing it. Michael Hammer, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the White House looked forward to this weeks talks, but would not comment on any specific proposals made during meetings between scores of senior US officials and Pakistani counterparts over the last year. During the course of those discussions, a considerable number of ideas, initiatives, and opportunities have been brought up by both sides, Hammer said. We are not prepared to comment on any one set of ideas other than to say that we are encouraged by an open and robust dialogue. The document comes out of months of delicate and often secret negotiations between top political and military officials from both countries. Some of Pakistans requests are likely non-starters. India has steadfastly refused any outside mediation in its decades-long dispute with Pakistan. And US officials say a civilian nuclear deal would be a tough sell given Pakistans history of nuclear weapons proliferation. To assuage the Pakistanis, the State Department has suggested setting up a bilateral working group to discuss the issue, in essence pushing a decision into the distant future. But US officials, especially those in the Pentagon, are eager to encourage Pakistans re-engagement after nearly two years of growing tension between the allies, and say many of the other requests may be doable. The US may, for example, be willing to give Pakistan drone aircraft, although not the high-end, armed Predator and Reaper drones that have been used by the Central Intelligence Agency to kill hundreds of militants in Pakistans tribal areas, according to a US official. The official said Pakistan already gets a few hours a week of surveillance time on those drones, and theyre often not looking at the same targets wed necessarily want to be looking at. We want the US to recognise Pakistans nuclear status and give us assurances not to undermine the (weapons) programme, said a senior Pakistani military officer who serves as an aide to Gen Kayani. Energy security is crucial, and we need US help. Among the proposals the Pentagon is considering is asking Pakistan to allow the US to support expanded Pakistani counterterrorism efforts within their country. Currently, about 150 US Special Operations forces are in Pakistan training the Pakistani military in counterinsurgency tactics. In addition, the US may press the Pakistani government to end what they view as a negative information campaign against the US.