President Obama may surprise Pakistan with visit

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    President Obama may surprise Pakistan


    ISLAMABAD: As an apparent balancing side-trip to his scheduled Indian tour early next month, US President Barack Obama may pay a surprise visit to Pakistan, The Express Tribune has learnt.
    A top foreign ministry official has confirmed that Islamabad was making hectic diplomatic efforts to ensure that the US president’s forthcoming trip to the region does include Pakistan.
    “We believe the US president must visit Pakistan while touring India. If he does not visit Islamabad, it will not go down well with the public here,” the official added. He said the issue will also be raised in the Pak-US strategic dialogue.
    If President Obama accepts the invitation, it would be the first time an American president visits while a democratic government is in place. In the past, US presidents have visited the country only when a military dictator was in power.
    Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said that Pakistan has already extended an invitation but was not aware if the US president was coming to Pakistan.
    Although US Embassy spokesperson Alberto Rodriguez said that at the moment President Obama’s itinerary does not include Pakistan, diplomatic and Foreign Office sources claim the visit might be under wraps for security reasons. They say even former US president Bill Clinton did not make public his plan to visit Pakistan in 2000.
    Another American diplomat did not rule out the possibility. “As of now, he has no plans to visit Pakistan, but he is the president and he can change his plans anytime,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “So at this moment I cannot confirm or deny his visit.”
    Western media reports indicate that the Obama administration is considering a $2 billion package to encourage the army to go after militants in North Waziristan. Sources say President Obama may announce the new package during a visit to Pakistan.
    Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2010.
     
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  3. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    whats surprise here if he wants to go there let him announce it . if find it really surprising that many Pakistanis on various website claim that i did not affect them whatever happens to India or in India or any other important personality visit India but Pakistani government uses name of same Pakistani to show that its people of Pakistan which wants Obama to visit Pakistan or at least stopover in their country so as to please Pakistani people not be let down them. either of them are fooling each other or do not pulse of each other. Pakistani government also want to equal status treatment form world viz india

    instead of stopover at Pakistan GoP must try for separate individual visit by obama to their state at other time
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Obama is going to Pakistan. India is not amused.

    The announcement Thursday that President Obama would visit Pakistan next year has sapped enthusiasm in India for his visit in early November. The timing of was insensitive to India, critics say.

    The announcement Thursday that President Obama will visit Pakistan in 2011 has further sapped enthusiasm in India for Mr. Obama’s visit here next month.For much of the 20th century, the US pursued a “hyphenated” foreign policy toward India and Pakistan. Washington attempted to balance diplomatic visits and trade deals it offered to one country, considering its relationship to the other. Given the strong military ties between Washington and Islamabad, this resulted in limiting US-India relations.

    As India began to emerge economically, Washington began to “de-hyphenate” its South Asian diplomacy. India and the US forged a landmark civilian nuclear trade deal, something not offered to Pakistan, a country with nuclear proliferation in its recent past.

    Perception in India

    But under Obama, Pakistan has used its leverage over the Afghan war to distract the US from deepening ties with India. The perception in New Delhi is that Pakistan’s gambit is working. Analysts here see little momentum behind Obama's India visit, with some worrying that the announcement of his intention to go to Pakistan next year may actually send relations between the US and India backward.

    “This is going to do some damage to the relationship” between Washington and New Delhi, says Sumit Ganguly, an Indian-American scholar of South Asia currently on sabbatical in New Delhi. “Now you will hear the expression in New Delhi ‘re-hyphenation.’ ”

    Under the Obama administration, the US and India have struggled to shift their relationship into a higher gear, and of late, the gears have been grinding.

    Over the summer, the US announced it would continue arms sales to Pakistan – despite revelations about the country’s involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks.

    That followed a joint US-China statement last year that offered help “on issues related to South Asia.” India bristled at the notion of Chinese involvement in the subcontinent, particularly given close Chinese ties to Pakistan and its own deepening rivalry with Beijing.

    Mixed messages?

    To be sure, the Obama administration has showered New Delhi with some diplomatic honors. Obama invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington for his administration’s first state dinner. And, following diplomatic protocol, Obama comes to India for a reciprocal visit slated to start Nov. 4.

    Prior to the White House announcement, says Dr. Ganguly, Indians were starting to console themselves about Obama's recent attention to them. “The Indians were actually saying to themselves, ‘Look, he’s not going to Pakistan.’ ”

    He calls the timing of Obama's announcement “myopic,” adding: “It sets a very poor tone just on the eve of the visit to India.”

    The US embassy in New Delhi declined to comment on the issue, referring instead to today’s White House statement on the Pakistan trip.

    The announcement of a Pakistan trip came after Obama met with a Pakistani delegation this week. Pakistan’s Army chief, foreign minister, and other senior officials are visiting Washington as part of an ongoing strategic dialogue focusing on the Afghan war.

    “The President explained that he would not be stopping in Pakistan during his trip to Asia next month, and committed to visiting Pakistan in 2011, as well as welcoming President Zardari to Washington,” read the White House statement.

    Other analysts here downplayed the announcement.

    “This is not totally surprising, and neither should India be very worried about it,” says Suba Chandran, a security analyst with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi.

    He says that Obama signaled early on in his tenure that he would not focus as hard as his predecessor, President Bush, on deepening a strategic partnership with India.

    But while Obama has given more attention to Pakistan in an effort to find an exit to the Afghan war, Mr. Chandran sees little danger of “re-hyphenation” given the broader economic and defense interests between India and the United States.
     

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