USA Pakistan Geopolitical Relationship

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Yusuf, May 20, 2009.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday trashed 30 years of American policy towards Pakistan -- eight of it during her husband's Presidency -- calling it "incoherent," while pledging the Obama administration's abiding support for the civilian democratic government now at the helm.

    In an astonishing attack on Washington's tortured engagement with Pakistan through both Democratic and Republican administrations, the former First Lady advanced a new narrative, basically suggesting it was unfair on part of the US to abandon and sanction Islamabad after taking its help to defeat the Soviet Union, and the US should share the blame for Pakistan's present condition.

    "I think that it is fair to say that our policy toward Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent. I don't know any other word to use. We came in in the '80s and helped to build up the Mujahideen to take on the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis were our partners in that. The Soviet Union fell in 1989, and we basically said, thank you very much; we had all kinds of sanctions being imposed on the Pakistanis," Clinton said at a White House event where she announced an emergency $ 110 million aid to Pakistan for the humanitarian crisis in Swat.

    It was the second time in recent weeks that Clinton was critically revisiting US-Pakistan policy history, ignoring the fact that Washington imposed sanctions on Islamabad in 1990 for its transgression of nuclear red lines (weaponising) after having held back from doing so with the Pressler Amendment, which was originally devised to allow the US President to certify that Pakistan had not crossed the nuclear rubicon.

    But once the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan, then President Bush (sr) no longer found it expedient to give a clean chit to Pakistan and wink at its bomb program as his predecessor Ronald Reagan had done, according to historical accounts of that period. The sanctions continued under her husband's presidency, and the situation was aggravated even more when Pakistan came close to being named a terrorist state in 1993 because of its sponsorship of terrorism. The sanctions were tightened in 1998 when Pakistan followed India in conducting nuclear test.

    But in her new guilt-stricken narrative, which comes only weeks after she stunned policy wonks in Washington by describing Pakistan as a "mortal danger" danger to the United States and the world, Clinton said while "it is fair to apportion responsibilities to the Pakistanis, it's also fair to ask ourselves what have we done and how have we done it over all of these years, and what role do we play in the situation that the Pakistanis currently confront."

    Incidentally, Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan in 1995 as First Lady, at a time when US policy was, in her view, "incoherent." As President, her husband persuaded Pakistan to back down from its suicidal confrontation with India on Kashmir during the Kargil War in 1999, and later visited Islamabad in 2000 after General Musharraf took power after a coup to oust Nawaz Sharief.

    The Secretary of State said President Obama's new approach toward Pakistan "is qualitatively different than anything that has been tried before" in the way it supports the democratically elected government and demands transparency and honesty. The results in the last week had been encouraging, she added, offering a clue as to why she had overcome her apprehension of Pakistan being a mortal threat to the world.

    Clinton also took a crack at former Pakistan dictator Pervez Musharraf when a journalist asked if he (Musharraf) did not prosecute the war on terror because of the lack of aid. "I can't speculate on why former President Musharraf did what he did while he was in power. I just know that at the end of his time in office, the extremists had found safe havens in Pakistan and were stronger than they had been when he came into office," she said.

    In contrast, she said the current democratically elected government and the opposition has recognized the serious threat posed by the Taliban.

    Clinton's observations came in the face of a recent poll conducted by a Washington think tank that showed only 10 per cent of Pakistani respondents citing terrorism as the most important issue. In the same poll, when asked who was responsible for the Mumbai terrorist massacre, 42 per cent of respondents said India, 33 per cent said 'don't know' and 20 per cent named the United States.

    But by Clinton's account, things have improved in recent weeks, particularly after the video of the flogging of a young girl in Swat (which most Pakistanis believe to be a fake). "There is a real national mood change on the part of the Pakistani people that we are watching and obviously encouraged by," she said.

    While Clinton was suddenly sanguine about Pakistan at the White House ceremony, she took a tough line on China in a separate interaction with the foreign correspondents a short while later. Asked by an Australian journalist about a recent Australian defense white paper that basically saw US being eclipsed by China in the Asia-Pacific region, and Canberra hitching its star to Beijing, Clinton said the US was not going anywhere.

    "We also are sending a clear message that the United States will be engaged. We are a transpacific power as well as a transatlantic power," she said. "We want Australia as well as other nations to know that the United States is not ceding the Pacific to anyone."
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The recent trends in Washington doesnt look very inspiring as far as fighting terrorism is concerned. For some reason the US is trying to find excuses to shower Pakistan with aid without reason and overlooking the fact that they are using these funds to create a more dangerous situation for the world and India in particular.
    Just recently, the Pentagon has said that Pakistan is expanding its nuclear arsenal using money diverted from the aid given to it and also Admiral Mike Mullen recently said that the Pakistanis were two timing the US. What more does the US administration require to conclude that they are following a wrong policy? I wonder why Hillary Clinton is crying for Pakistan?
     
  4. Terminator

    Terminator Regular Member

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    At last they have admitted they have grown terrorists and had turned them to INdia and russia.Only Bad thing is the aid given ,it is just used by the pakistan goverment to accelerate their nuclear program instead of welfare of its citizens.
     
  5. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    What exactly is she trying to say here? Isn't they supported the Pakistan in there terrorism since they are born:

    1. They were part of US group they were given billions of dollar (approx 5 billion) in late 1950's and 1960's apart from millitary aid.

    2. Isn't 1971 war when US sent there warships to help pakistanis.

    3. Isn't the nuclear bomb quest was knwon to them and they helped them thoroughly.

    4. Isn''t US stopped Israel and India in attacking pakistan in 1984 in there nuclear facilities.

    5. All these dollars they are pumping are getting where?

    A balatant attempt to support terrorism nothing else. India has to get ready to see more terrorism from across the border with west's support.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I have a feeling that the Obama Admin is not as well dispensed towards India and Indian concerns as the Bush Admin was. We need to ratchet up some serious lobbying in Washington. Dont understand what Obama is upto. Pakistan knows that Obama is a confused man and is trying to milk it to the max showing cosmetic action against the terrorists.
     
  7. Terminator

    Terminator Regular Member

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    I second yusufs opinion.Obama is a young leader and comes out as a novice in this area dealing with terror.This weakness of Obama is well utilised by Pakistan goverment to get them all aid saying they are seriously fighting terrorists.Its becoming sure with his various policies including hint of asking India to sign NPT and leave banglore and use buffalo campains that he is not having a good impression with India.He is trying to save his neck by creating a smoke cloud around all and saying he has done great things
     
  8. Mohan

    Mohan Respected Member

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    Well I say we have to wait for a while and see what happens may be she is playing to the gallery to a fake act by Pakistan is being reciprocated to it in the same coin.I believe US has moved away from India. We know what to do after all these years since 1947, we are here we have seen it and we have faced it and have over come it.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    aren't most master slave relations like this? This may all just be a act/carrot for a bigger future operation against pakistan.
     
  10. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Yes, as what Yusuf says I am totally agree with that and now the time has come to go for a new approach to The USA , and slowly reconsidering all the defence deals with the USA , this is simply an excuse by the USA to shower more gifts to Pakistan. As for the present US Administration's approach is concerned it is far more clear to me that the USA is 1000's miles away and terrorism in South Asia and our suffering is simply not their headache and they want to go back to Nixon era overlooking the facts and more was that because their President came out with stunning 'Good Taliban / Bad Taliban' theory.

    Regards
     
  11. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    You are absolutely right Yusuf. Maybe Obama is worried about India's rising economic clout.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Obama has no clue about most issues this is just one of many you can add to the clueless list.
     
  13. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    Yes, but he acts like he is the messiah, and will take America to back to glory. Would have made a great salesman.
    He hides is hippocracy very well, which is now showing. (Release of prisoner abuse pics to the media and public, and his U-turn on it)
     
  14. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    True, Kommunist , I agree with you totally on this.

    Regards
     
  15. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    it's showing in the economy that's for sure.
     
  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It's not that mate. If at all, the US has to gain from Indias rising economy by way of defense sales etc.

    But I don't know what's on Obamas mind.
     
  17. K Factor

    K Factor A Concerned Indian Senior Member

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    I was thinking more long term, say 15-20 years. :wink:
     
  18. MMuthu

    MMuthu Regular Member

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    US to keep an eye on aid utilisation, says Hillary

    WASHINGTON: The Obama administration would ensure that Pakistan did not divert US assistance into any channel other than what it was meant for, the secretary of state told a Senate sub-committee on Wednesday.

    Hillary Clinton agreed with a legislator’s proposal that conditions be attached to the assistance provided to Pakistan and Afghanistan so that the money was used only for the purpose named in the bill concerned.

    Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, referred to media speculations that Pakistan might use the US aid package to make nuclear weapons or to buy weapons to be used against India and asked Secretary Clinton to ensure that this did not happen.

    ‘None of our aid will affect the efforts by Pakistan regarding their nuclear stockpile,’ Mrs Clinton told the Appropriations Sub-committee on state and foreign operations.

    The administration will make sure that there’s no ‘diversion of money or any use of it other than what it is meant for’, she assured the committee.

    The United States, she said, would also like to see a reduction in India-Pakistan tensions and the resumption of the bilateral dialogue to give both ‘a little more confidence in each other’.

    The secretary of state said some of the problems confronting Pakistan and Afghanistan today were a direct result of American policies in the 1980s.

    ‘For the last 30-40 years, American policy for Pakistan gives quite an uneven picture … one step forward, two steps back,’ Secretary Clinton said.

    ‘Some of the problems (in the Pak-Afghan region) are a direct result of American policies and funding in the 1980s,’ she told the panel while defending the Obama administration’s budget for international affairs for the next financial year.

    Mrs Clinton censured the then US administration for ‘walking away’ from the region after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin wall.

    ‘We have had inconsistent approaches to Afghanistan and Pakistan,’ she said, insisting that the Obama administration was trying to change that approach and recognised the vital security interests the US has in both the countries.

    Secretary Clinton insisted that the US could ‘ignore only at our peril’ the threat emanating from that region, ‘led and funded by al Qaeda’.

    DINNER FOR AYUB
    Going over past US policies towards Pakistan, Mrs Clinton recalled that in the 1960s, President Kennedy hosted ‘one of the greatest dinners’ at Mount Vernon in Washington for a military dictator, Ayub Khan.

    After that the relationship between the two countries went ‘up and down’ until ‘our big bash with another military dictator’ Pervez Musharraf.

    Ms Clinton, who is a former senator, recalled that many in the US Congress had tried to change America’s attitude of ‘cosying up to Pakistani dictators’.

    The Obama administration, she added, was making a commitment to the democratically-elected government of Pakistan, with the intention to intensify person-to-person and government-to-government relations and was also trying to build new relations between civilian and military institutions of the two countries.

    Secretary Clinton described as ‘quite unprecedented’ the political support given to the military offensive in Swat, noting that both the ruling and opposition parties were backing the operation.

    ‘We have never seen anything like that before … to some extent it is reassuring that the government and the opposition are united in their opposition to the threat posed by the terrorists.’The Pakistanis, she said, were making ‘a very significant effort and we are supporting that’.

    She agreed with Senator John Kerry, who chaired the hearing, that it was not an easy task. ‘If this would be easy, we would not be sitting here … we have to demonstrate America’s commitment to the people of Pakistan.’

    An important security priority for the US, Hillary Clinton said, was to make investments in Pakistan’s future that would visibly improve their understanding of what the US stood for.

    Senator Kerry reminded her that the Senate was also working on a bill that ‘vastly increases our civilian assistance to Pakistan’, redefining America’s relationship with the people of Pakistan.

    ‘It is something Senator Lugar and I are focused on,’ he said. The senator said that the meetings the senators had with President Asif Ali Zardari and President Karzai earlier this month were quite unique and ‘provided a better set of options than we had otherwise’.

    The US, she said, needed to be working with the civil society in Pakistan, noting that the country had a vibrant civil society.

    ‘It’s quite remarkable what the lawyers did … there are other instances of growing awareness of the Pakistani citizenship as well.’

    Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, told her that he had proposed amendments to the bill seeking to triple US assistance to Pakistan, requiring the administration to report back whether it was meeting those objectives set by Congress.

    ‘We do need measurements of performance in every (sector) that we are interacting with … the government … the military,’ Mrs Clinton said.

    She said the administration was working with the US intelligence and the Department of Defence, in coordination with the National Security Agency, to ensure that the intended results of US assistance to Pakistan were achieved.
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    US Congress drops India mention in aid bill to save Pakistan blushes

    Bowing to Islamabad's sensitivities and the Obama administration's lobbying, a US Congressional panel on Wednesday dropped an
    explicit demand for access to nuclear smuggler A Q Khan and preventing terrorist attacks against India as conditions in a legislation that triples US aid to Pakistan to $ 1.5 billion annually.

    In marking up the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act (HR 1886 or Peace Act), the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), under pressure from the Obama administration, took cognizance of Pakistan's complaint that it felt "humiliated" by language implicating the country in nuclear proliferation and cross-border terrorism, particularly mention of its low-grade war on India.

    In a token gesture, the committee reworked the language to say Pakistan will have to be providing "access to Pakistani nationals" connected to proliferation networks, "ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups" and "preventing cross border attacks into neighboring countries" as conditions for US security assistance.

    It was the best the administration could extract from the Committee after Pakistani lawmakers remonstrated loudly about benchmarks they said were degrading. "We need aid, but aid with dignity," Marvi Memon, a visiting Pakistani legislator close to former dictator Pervez Musharraf, said in a C-Span interview. "There are some no-go areas that are totally not acceptable." She identified the legislative demand for access to A Q Khan as one such area.

    But US law-makers remained unimpressed by what some Congressional sources said were Pakistan's tantrums. "For far too long, Pakistan has taken US assistance with one hand, while undoing US efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan with the other. For far too long, Pakistan has been receiving US aid to fight terrorism, while keeping its army aimed at India. This legislation lays down an important principle -- that Pakistani actions will have consequences,"Ed Royce, a Republican member from California said.

    Making no secret that the bill would still hold Pakistan accountable on specific benchmarks, Royce said in a statement that "Congress is sending an important signal - that we must see progress on A Q Khan, ISI,and terrorists targeting US troops and neighboring India."

    The House committee bill now goes before the full House even as similar legislation, which is much lighter on benchmarks, makes its way through the US Senate. The two bills will then be discussed at a 'conference' -- where the administration is expected to side with the less punitive Senate legislation -- to arrive at one single bill which will be voted and sent to the President.

    Former Presidential candidate John Kerry is leading the effort to dilute the benchmarks in the bill, arguing that make it too tough or rigid will not allow Washington to achieve its goals. But the House leadership is insistent that Pakistan has to be called to account and there should be no free lunches, as promised by President Obama.

    "Contrary to what some have said, these are not 'rigid' or 'inflexible' condition,." said Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the HFAC. "To ensure that the President has sufficient flexibility, we provide a waiver if he is unable to make the determinations (on non-proliferation and cutting terrorism links)."

    "I think this is an excellent bill that will strengthen the critical US-Pakistan relationship and support US national security objectives in South Asia," he added. Whether the Senate and the administration agrees remains to be seen.
     
  20. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Let us discuss here all issues regarding US-Pak relations with regards to the Aid it gets, weapons supply and any other developments between the two countries.
     
  21. NikSha

    NikSha Regular Member

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    US Congress drops India mention in aid bill to save Pakistan blushes

    Source:

    WASHINGTON: Bowing to Islamabad's sensitivities and the Obama administration's lobbying, a US Congressional panel on Wednesday dropped an explicit demand for access to nuclear smuggler A Q Khan and preventing terrorist attacks against India as conditions in a legislation that triples US aid to Pakistan to $ 1.5 billion annually.

    In marking up the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act (HR 1886 or Peace Act), the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), under pressure from the Obama administration, took cognizance of Pakistan's complaint that it felt "humiliated" by language implicating the country in nuclear proliferation and cross-border terrorism, particularly mention of its low-grade war on India.

    In a token gesture, the committee reworked the language to say Pakistan will have to be providing "access to Pakistani nationals" connected to proliferation networks, "ceasing support, including by any elements within the Pakistan military or its intelligence agency, to extremist and terrorist groups" and "preventing cross border attacks into neighboring countries" as conditions for US security assistance.

    It was the best the administration could extract from the Committee after Pakistani lawmakers remonstrated loudly about benchmarks they said were degrading. "We need aid, but aid with dignity," Marvi Memon, a visiting Pakistani legislator close to former dictator Pervez Musharraf, said in a C-Span interview. "There are some no-go areas that are totally not acceptable." She identified the legislative demand for access to A Q Khan as one such area.

    But US law-makers remained unimpressed by what some Congressional sources said were Pakistan's tantrums. "For far too long, Pakistan has taken US assistance with one hand, while undoing US efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan with the other. For far too long, Pakistan has been receiving US aid to fight terrorism, while keeping its army aimed at India. This legislation lays down an important principle -- that Pakistani actions will have consequences,"Ed Royce, a Republican member from California said.

    Making no secret that the bill would still hold Pakistan accountable on specific benchmarks, Royce said in a statement that "Congress is sending an important signal - that we must see progress on A Q Khan, ISI,and terrorists targeting US troops and neighboring India."

    The House committee bill now goes before the full House even as similar legislation, which is much lighter on benchmarks, makes its way through the US Senate. The two bills will then be discussed at a 'conference' -- where the administration is expected to side with the less punitive Senate legislation -- to arrive at one single bill which will be voted and sent to the President.

    Former Presidential candidate John Kerry is leading the effort to dilute the benchmarks in the bill, arguing that make it too tough or rigid will not allow Washington to achieve its goals. But the House leadership is insistent that Pakistan has to be called to account and there should be no free lunches, as promised by President Obama.

    "Contrary to what some have said, these are not 'rigid' or 'inflexible' condition,." said Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the HFAC. "To ensure that the President has sufficient flexibility, we provide a waiver if he is unable to make the determinations (on non-proliferation and cutting terrorism links)."

    "I think this is an excellent bill that will strengthen the critical US-Pakistan relationship and support US national security objectives in South Asia," he added. Whether the Senate and the administration agrees remains to be seen.
     

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