Pak gives US 56-page wish list to counter India's might

johnee

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Tarun, our increasing capabilities needle China regardless of our intentions. Of course, we are not pakistan but to China, fear of India becoming a Pakistan like nemesis is real. That gives US another leverage point on China by choosing to arm India accordingly.
 

tarunraju

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Tarun, our increasing capabilities needle China regardless of our intentions. Of course, we are not pakistan but to China, fear of India becoming a Pakistan like nemesis is real. That gives US another leverage point on China by choosing to arm India accordingly.
We're not Pakistan, we're richer than it. So our growing 'richer' isn't going to give us capabilities to needle China (carry covert offensive operations), nor do we have any real motive to fall behind China like probably Pakistan has against India. Once again, India can defend itself against China. At the most, it will be able to defend itself in a two-front conflict. But certainly not do things to China what we expect Pakistan to try against us.
 

johnee

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We're not Pakistan, we're richer than it. So our growing 'richer' isn't going to give us capabilities to needle China (carry covert offensive operations), nor do we have any real motive to fall behind China like probably Pakistan has against India. Once again, India can defend itself against China. At the most, it will be able to defend itself in a two-front conflict. But certainly not do things to China what we expect Pakistan to try against us.
I agree with you. But from Chinese POV, India COULD become a nemesis and an armed unfriendly(not necessarily hostile) neighbour is not very pleasing development. And add to it the CCP thinking of only tiger on one mountain, then we know the US is playing its cards right.
 

ajtr

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For US, world is a chessboard

Premen Addy

The Obama Administration is as much in need of healthcare as the American people. By supping with the Pakistani leadership without the prescriptive long spoon, the US President and his advisers are guaranteeing a mightier inferno for the AfPak landscape than the one consuming it. The price demanded by the Pakistani Government for past and present services rendered to the American imperium amounts to a brazen $ 35 billion, with a few nuclear power plants, squadrons of F-16s and other lethal weaponry thrown in for good measure.

How the discussions in the Oval Office of the White House pan out will be known soon enough, but the promised consummation of the India-US relationship is likely to remain the 21st century’s unfulfilled dream. Just as well, for tying the knot on the deck of another doomed Titanic — Pakistan in this instance — would hardly make good copy or a riveting film. However, the mystery of David Coleman Headley might, one day, do both, with its darkest secrets revealed and an Oscar to be won.

The world's ‘sole superpower’, the prayerful refrain of acolytes of the living Moloch, bears more than a passing resemblance to Gulliver trussed up and bound to the ground by legions of Taliban and Al Qaeda Lilliputians in Afghanistan and Iraq and the earth beyond. Superpower hubris is no assurance of second sight. Mr George W Bush proclaimed a famous victory in Iraq from the deck of an American battleship and the pronouncement, in due course, crumbled to dust.

Newsweek reproduced a picture of the former US President savouring his triumph in 2004 against its report of the recently deemed success of an Iraqi general election. What price such traduced freedom? A broken nation boasting multitudes of orphaned cripples, thousands of dead and millions living as insecure refugees abroad; a country gifted with intermittent power and water by its mendacious occupier, its innards torn out, its confessional communities at each other’s throats with bombs, bullets and anything else that came to hand.

Truth will out, but not clearly in the Anglo-American media. The fourth-rate estate has long been reduced to a complicit parody in a lacquered criminal syndicate. Their news coverage refracts the seamless engagement between what can be seen as the world’s second-oldest profession with the world’s oldest. Checks and balances are nursery rhymes for lulled innocents cutting their milk teeth at their mother’s breasts. Al Capone and Goebbels embodied fascism’s infancy, today’s finished product boasts a corporate face.

International alignments, once cast in stone, are in flux. Nato, like Shelley’s Ozymandias, could well become a half-buried trunkless head of stone in the sands of Araby. You wouldn’t have thought so leafing through the insouciance of Mr Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Polish American geostrategic guru hired by the Obama campaign team for the 2008 US presidential election, whose worldview may well be haunting the corridors of power in Washington, DC. As President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser between 1976-80, his advice was inevitably coloured with the Pole’s primordial hatred of Russians.

Apropos of clandestine US activity in Afghanistan, which pre-dated the Soviet appearance in the country, he said: “This secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap. You want me to regret that?” (Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism by John K Cooley). In his book, Cooley writes, “Brzezinski, like President Carter’s CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner ... freely acknowledged that the possible adverse consequences of the anti-Communist alliance with the Afghan Islamists (and shortly afterward, with their radical Muslim allies around the world) — the growth of a new international terrorist movement and the global outreach of South Asian drug trafficking — did not weigh heavily, if at all, in their calculations at the time.”

Years later, March 20, 2010, to be precise, The Times correspondent, Anthony Loyd, in Peshawar, described how a motley group of jihadis — Arabs, Uzbeks and Pakistani Punjabis — were giving the American and their allies a particularly hard time in Afghanistan. The 1,500 Uzbeks, apparently the most formidable of the lot, usually fought to the last man.

Three days later, on March 23, came a front-page Daily Telegraph report, with the headline: “Dirty nuclear bomb threat to Britain”. Duncan Gardham’s opening paragraph set the scene: “Britain faces an increased threat of a nuclear attack by Al Qaeda terrorists following a rise in the trafficking of radiological material, a Government report has warned. Bomb makers who have been active in Afghanistan may already have the ability to produce a ‘dirty bomb’ using knowledge over the Internet. It is feared that terrorists could transport an improvised nuclear device up the Thames and detonate it in the heart of London” and other British cities.

“Lord West, the Security Minister, also raised the possibility of terrorists using small small craft to enter ports and launch an attack similar to that in Mumbai in 2008 ... The terrorist group since then had approached Pakistani nuclear scientists, developed a device to produce hydrogen cyanide, which can be used in chemical warfare, and used explosives in Iraq combined with chlorine gas cylinders,” the report says. Frankenstein’s monster is now stalking its creator. President Barack Obama and his aides will have much to discuss with their Pakistani guests. If only the fly on the wall could speak and write proper English what a tale it would have to tell.

Following the demise of the Soviet Union, Mr Brzezinski, inebriated by the chaos of the Yeltsin dispensation in Moscow, issued his projection of the future, The Great Chessboard. Eurasia, the subject of his title, with its oil and geostrategic location was preordained to be a giant American bailiwick. Controlled tenancies for Russia, India and China, etc, would form part of the Pax Americana. The book’s sting came in its tail, the reference to “China’s support for Pakistan (which) restrains India’s ambitions to subordinate that country and offsets India’s inclination to cooperate with Russia in regard to Afghanistan and Central Asia”.

Mr Brzezinski confides in his Chinese interlocutors in 1996 — recalled in an extensive footnote in his book, published the following year — on a possible US-China condominium for the region, inspiration, possibly, for Mr Obama’s hint of G2 summits floated in Beijing last autumn. Its eccentricity is reminiscent of the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, whereby the Pope in Rome divided the newly discovered dominions of Asia and Africa between the Catholic Majesties of Spain and Portugal.

To George Nathaniel Curzon, player extraordinary of Kipling’s Great Game, belongs surely the final word: “Turkestan, Afghanistan, Transcaspia, Persia ... To me, I confess, these names are the pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for the dominion of the world.” This being 2010, checkmate, alas, it must be.
 
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ajtr

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Prospects for Pak-US ties

FEW inter-state relations have been as tumultuous as those between Pakistan and the United States.

The pendulum has swung between passionate embraces, when we prided on calling ourselves the ‘most allied ally’, to acrimonious and bitter break-ups that led to Pakistan becoming the ‘most sanctioned ally’.

American largesse has been most generously bestowed on us when we have had military regimes in power, while elected ones have been at the receiving end of US displeasure. So much for America’s commitment to the promotion of democracy and human rights!

This then is the legacy that the two have to overcome as they engage in an attempt to go beyond their cooperation on the single-item agenda of terrorism and enhancing it to a “strategic level”. Since the Washington talks had not started when this piece was written, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the basis of hearsay. The portents, however, appeared favourable, though the challenges are enormous.

The Americans lined up their ‘stars’, while stressing their desire to see the relationship “go far beyond security”. Pakistan, too, reiterated that it sought “stable, long-term relations based on mutual respect, mutual interest and shared values”. In fact, our foreign minister went on record saying that Pakistan had already done a lot and that it was now America’s turn to start delivering.

What accounts for Pakistan’s confidence? For one, the credibility that arises from a democratic dispensation, however inefficient and ineffective, has been reinforced by the remarkable success of our military operations. This has been a revelation to the Americans. Both Adm Mullen and Gen Petraeus have acknowledged that the Pakistan Army’s resolve and determination have dispelled much of the mistrust.

More recently, the arrest of several major Taliban leaders in Pakistan led US special envoy Richard Holbrooke to see “a positive shift”.

What may also have encouraged the Pakistanis was Gen Petraeus’s recent remark that Pakistan’s “security forces have put a lot of short sticks into a lot of hornets’ nests in the last 10 months” and more significantly, that Pakistan “has an interest that is somewhat different than ours and that is their strategic depth and always has been for a country that is very narrow and has its historic enemy to its east”.

He also brushed aside talk of differences between them by pointing out that “this is not unique just to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but throughout the world. We have interests, they have interests. What we want to do is to … understand where they are divergent and try to make progress together”.

These remarks have had a calming effect on Islamabad’s position on two important issues, namely that Pakistan has genuine strategic interests in Afghanistan and that Pakistan would not be able to devote the desired resources to the western front until its concerns on the eastern frontier are not recognised.It is, however, developments in Washington that have been the primary catalyst in bringing the two countries together. Obama has focused on Afghanistan with clarity and detachment. The trajectory of Obama’s learning curve is evident in his Afghan strategy speeches in March and December last year and in January this year. There is no longer any ambiguity in his position.

It is now left to determine the tactics to achieve this objective, so that Al Qaeda is not able to resurrect itself, and the country can be left in the hands of a broad-based coalition, inclusive of the Taliban. If these objectives can be achieved, the administration can derive valuable domestic political mileage.

The US has, however, realised that even this reduced ‘objective’ cannot be achieved without Pakistan’s active support and assistance. It is this newly crafted scenario which explains why Pakistan appears, once again, on the US radar screens, both for the objective of an ‘honourable’ extrication from the Afghan quagmire, and the consolidation of its influence in the region.

In the achievement of this objective, the US will be counting primarily on the Pakistan Army, not only for its ‘battle’ against the militants, but for keeping Pakistani politicians on the ‘straight and narrow’. For Pakistan, the task would be for sustaining American interest in the country, above and beyond Afghanistan, making it genuinely strategic.

This is not going to be simple; many impediments and uncertainties could thwart the pursuit of this objective. For a start, strategic relations can only be sought by a democratic political dispensation, which not only pursues moderate and progressive policies, but has the conviction to ‘sell’ this to a sceptical electorate.

This certainly is a challenging agenda, because a people-to-people relationship with the US is not possible, unless it is seen as promoting policies that can be ‘seen and felt’ by the people of Pakistan.

There is another, far greater, challenge for our leadership. Strategic relations with the US may well impinge on other vital linkages. Two are critical. With the US determined to engineer a ‘regime change’ in Iran, what would its expectations be from Pakistan? Finally, can we contemplate cooperating with the US in any initiative that could trouble our relations with China?

There could be reservations on the US front as well, once its interest in Afghanistan begins to wane. New and powerful lobbies have emerged in the US that are convinced of an inevitable clash of civilisation with Islam. While Obama has strongly repudiated such notions, its adherents see an affinity with the rapidly emerging Indian lobby in the US, which is acquiring an influence second only to Israel’s.

Apart from legitimate promotion of Indian interests, New Delhi’s favourite pastime is to malign Pakistan. It has no hesitation in turning up the heat on the Obama administration for any favour extended to Pakistan, as evident from its recent refrain that the Obama administration is not as sympathetic to India as was its predecessor. In such a scenario, the challenge for Pakistan is to ensure that in its calculus of interests, the US remains committed to Pakistan’s security and well-being, long after American troops have left Afghanistan.
 

ajtr

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Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi After Their Meeting

Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 24, 2010
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. Well, it is such a pleasure once again to welcome the foreign minister and his delegation to the State Department for this latest round of our meetings and for this beginning of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, the first ever held at the ministerial level on both sides. That fact, along with the unprecedented participation of senior leaders across both of our governments, reflects the importance that we place on this relationship. These meetings are an opportunity to engage directly on the full range of issues that are matters of both common concern and shared responsibility, and to produce concrete results.
Today, we discussed our shared goals: to protect our citizens and our countries from the violent extremism that threatens us both, to see Pakistan prosper as a strong democracy in a stable region, to cooperate on issues that improve the daily lives of the Pakistani people, and so much else. We have made it very clear that this Strategic Dialogue is in Pakistan’s interests and in the United States’ interests. And that is why what we’re doing here today is so critical.
I want to thank the foreign minister for his candor and his commitment to finding solutions to our common challenges. We have listened and we will continue to listen. And we want to demonstrate by both word and deed our respect for Pakistan’s concerns and ideas, and share our own.
This is a dialogue that flows in both directions. We recognize that our success will be measured in the results that our citizens see in their daily lives. This begins with security. We discussed Pakistan’s national security priorities, ongoing counterinsurgency operations, and long-term military modernization and recapitalization efforts. Pakistan is on the front line of confronting the violent extremism that threatens us all. And Pakistan’s civilians and security forces continue to bear the brunt of that fight. We respect the sacrifices that Pakistan has made in combating terrorists who seek to undermine its stability and undo its progress. And we pay tribute to those who have fallen, both those in uniform and the many innocent civilians killed or injured.
In our discussions today, I underscored the commitment of the United States to stand with Pakistan as it confronts its challenges. And the foreign minister and I also reaffirmed our support for the people and Government of Afghanistan as they continue to rebuild their country after decades of war and to overcome violence and insurgency.
But our relationship extends far beyond security, as does the scope of this dialogue. As demonstrated by the landmark Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation, which supports Pakistan’s economic and social development goals with $7.5 billion in assistance over five years, the United States is committed to advancing the long-term aspirations of the Pakistani people for a more peaceful and prosperous future. President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, and Foreign Minister Qureshi deserve our thanks for their work to make Kerry-Lugar-Berman a reality and to ensure that its benefits reach the Pakistani people. I also want to give Foreign Minister Qureshi personal credit, not just for launching this dialogue but for ensuring that we make tangible progress and produce real results on matters of importance.
Our working groups were hard at work today. First, we are cooperating to boost economic development on a number of tracks. Deputy Secretary Lew will sign a letter of intent to upgrade significant road infrastructure in the Northwest. We are taking concrete steps to help Pakistan boost exports of agricultural products and to improve agricultural infrastructure. As the foreign minister said today in our opening dialogue, 60 to 70 percent of the people of Pakistan rely on agriculture. And therefore, we ignore agriculture at our peril. You cannot have prosperity if you do not go to where the people live and work, how they make an income, how they feed themselves and their families.
And we are continuing to work for greater market access to our markets for Pakistani products. We continue to collaborate on plans for new water projects, and we’re looking forward to the completion of a transit trade agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan that we believe will benefit both countries. As I told the foreign minister, we appreciate Pakistan’s renewed commitment to sustained economic reforms that will provide a foundation for long-term prosperity.
We are working together to ensure that Pakistanis have access to affordable and reliable power, which is essential to funding economic development. When I was in Islamabad in October, we announced a signature energy program, and tomorrow, USAID Administrator Shah and Secretary of Water and Power Rafi will sign implementation agreements for three thermal power station rehabilitation projects that will provide more electricity to more people.
We also discussed the importance of working on a multiyear basis with regard to resource planning. I was pleased to inform the foreign minister that our goal is a multiyear security assistance package, including foreign military financing, based upon identified mutual strategic objectives, which would further strengthen our long-term partnership with Pakistan. We, of course, will work closely with Congress to further develop this commitment.
The United States also remains committed to social protection efforts, such as the Benazir Bhutto Income Support Program for families in vulnerable areas. And we will launch a women in development agenda in our next round of dialogues in Islamabad.
Finally, I am pleased to announce the approval of flight access for Pakistan International Airlines to Chicago, via Barcelona, making it easier for business travelers and families to strengthen the ties between our two countries.
We covered a lot of ground today, but there is so much more to be done. We are going to be working very hard. Our sectoral tracks are going to be meeting again tomorrow and then over the next months in Islamabad. We’re going to be working on people-to-people contacts and programs.
So again, Minister Qureshi, I thank you for your leadership. I thank you for the open, engaged, and results-oriented discussions that we began today. And as I did this morning, I want to speak directly to the people of Pakistan. I’ve been privileged to visit your country over the years, including last fall as Secretary of State. I have learned from your rich history and culture, and I have experienced firsthand the warmth of your hospitality and the strength of your communities.
The dialogue we seek is not only with the Government of Pakistan, but with you, the Pakistani people. And it is a dialogue that I hope will continue growing richer and broader. And we thank you for your attention and your friendship.
Minister Qureshi.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Madam Secretary, thank you. Today, I am a happy man and a satisfied man. I’m satisfied because you’ve finally agreed to many of the things that we’ve been sharing over our discussions in the last two years.
I suggested to Madam Secretary that if you want this relationship to become a partnership, you’ve got to think differently, you’ve got to act differently, and you’ve got to upgrade the level of our engagement. And she agreed, and thank you for that. I suggested to her a new format of our engagement when she was in Islamabad and Ambassador Holbrooke was there – a three-tiered structure of engagement, ministerial level, policy steering group to meet biannually to follow through, and then to expand the sectoral track.
The original – I won’t call it strategic – but the original dialogue that we had in 2006, `7, and `8 had only four tracks. And Madam Secretary, on my request, has agreed to expand the track from four to ten. And why have we expanded those tracks? We have expanded those tracks to make this relationship people-to-people. I wanted to bring in areas that affect the lives of the ordinary people of Pakistan. And when I say I’m happy today, I’m happy because I feel I’ve contributed in redirecting this relationship in line with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.
The people of Pakistan expected a different kind of an approach. The people of Pakistan expected a democracy to treat a democracy differently, and you’ve done so. And you’ve done so. And that is why I am satisfied and that is why I think we are going to move from a relationship to a partnership.
We have been talking about the engagements of the past. How is this engagement different from the past? I think we’ve done three to four things which are important, and I wanted to register them. One, we’ve upgraded the dialogue. Two, we’ve given it a new structure, a new format of engagement. We’ve put in place a mechanism which would ensure follow-up. Because we can meet; if there is no follow-up, there will be no results. And I want this dialogue to be a result-oriented dialogue.
Thirdly, we expanded the sectoral tracks, as I said. And fourthly, we have and you have, your Administration has provided the resources to implement what we agree upon. Now, if we could agree to, we could have great ideas. But if you don’t have the money to implement those ideas, they would be dreams. I want these dreams to be converted to reality, and I think that is happening. And I can see that happening.
I also am happy to share with you that we’ve discussed a number of things. We’ve discussed issues like market access. And I’ve shared with the Secretary how important it is for stabilizing Pakistan’s economy. And one of the ways is through expanded trade, and that can come through market access. The ROZ legislation has been pending. And I must thank you and your Administration for having agreed to give it priority. I understand the health bill took a lot of your attention and a lot of your time, but I think it’s behind us --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: -- and we have to move on. And I think the ROZ legislation is going to be a priority legislation in the days to come.
The CSF funding – at times, as friends and allies, sort of we’ve been prickling over dollars and cents. We’ve agreed to put in place a mechanism which is mutually acceptable, which is transparent, which takes into account accountability, but that delivers and delivers in time. We’ve agreed in this interaction that the substantial sum will be paid to Pakistan by the end of April, and the remaining, hopefully, will be settled by the end of June.
We’ve also agreed to work together with the Congress. Congress is important.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: And I was at the Congress – and let me share it with you. Let me share it with you. I saw a qualitative difference in my engagement with the Congress yesterday, because I remember when I came here for the first time as foreign minister two years ago, everybody said, “You signed the Swat deal? Capitulation. Surrender.” I said, “Hold on, hold on. That’s a tactic. Wait. Wait till you see the results.”
And we have demonstrated the results. The people of Pakistan, the armed forces of Pakistan, have shown the resolve, the determination, and the commitment. And we will win. And we’re going to win in this struggle, because defeat is not an option that we are planning for. And Inshallah, by the grace of God, we have a clear objective, we have a plan, we have a strategy, and that strategy is working. And today, we have a partnership, and hopefully, this partnership will turn the tide in our favor, hopefully in our mutual favor.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you, ma’am.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you.
QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, can I quote you --
MR. CROWLEY: We’ll begin with Sue Pleming of Reuters.
QUESTION: Okay. Okay.
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, this is for you. Pakistan says that it would like to have a real partnership with the United States with all the perks that come with it. Are you prepared to discuss a civilian nuclear deal such as the one that India has with Pakistan?
And then, Foreign Minister Qureshi, what is currently sort of on your wish list to do all that you need to do in terms of making the border region more secure with Afghanistan? Are you looking for drones, helicopters? What could the United States give you that would really help?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ll go first. We have a broad agenda with many complicated issues like the one you referred to. Discussions are continuing through tomorrow. And while I will not go into details of our bilateral conversations, we’ve said that we will listen to and engage with our Pakistani partners on whatever issues the delegation raises. We’re committed to helping Pakistan meet its real energy needs.
I’m particularly pleased that we are moving forward with $125 million to Pakistan for energy sector projects. That’s an assistance program I announced when I was there in October. And as the foreign minister said, we have followed through. We don’t just make announcements and then forget about them and get the headlines and move on.
So this dialogue that we’re engaged in is helping us build the kind of partnership that can make progress over time on the most complicated of issues.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Ma’am, we have taken a number of steps that have improved the border situation. Today, if you look at the posts that we have along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and just compare our posts with the posts across the border; if you look at the troops deployed on the western border, this is unprecedented. If you look at the steps taken – if you look at the impact the successful military operations have had on the border movement, you would realize what relief they have provided across the border in Afghanistan. Successful operations in Pakistan against the Taliban have had a significant impact in Afghanistan, and they acknowledge that.
President Karzai was over in Islamabad and we’ve had discussions, and they acknowledge the contribution that Pakistan has made, they acknowledge the contribution that the democratic government has made in improving bilateral relations with Afghanistan. We just talked about the transit trade agreement prior to coming to this conference. We’ve talked about military hardware. You have to realize that we are operating in a completely different theater. The western border, the terrain is completely different. And I’m glad to share with you we’ve agreed to fast-track – to fast-track our requests that have pending for months and years on the transfer of military equipment to Pakistan. So all these steps, I think, will make a qualitative difference to border management.
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, P.J. (inaudible) from (inaudible) news. Madam Secretary and foreign minister, whenever relations between America and Pakistan suffer and get strained, both really suffer and then both (inaudible) perhaps what you’ve done (inaudible).
But the question is: How imminent is – are the people of the United States and how important is it for them – and the foreign minister said it’s the people of Pakistan who want to come to this – so people-to-people contact and how imminent has the military chiefs of all the countries – their presence in this, and the reassurances of Ambassador Holbrooke to Pakistan?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you for asking that question because that’s really at the heart of what we hope to achieve. Because I agree with you; we have had a relationship that goes back to the very founding of Pakistan. We’ve had many positive experiences. But to be absolutely, historically accurate, we’ve had setbacks and stresses in our relationship. And I believe strongly that it is important for the United States and Pakistan to remain connected and working together for the betterment of both of our peoples.
So will we have disagreements? Of course. We have disagreements with all of our friends from time to time. Yet we don’t want anything to disrupt or divert our attention from building this relationship into a partnership – as the foreign minister has said, a partnership that really stands the test of time.
So as part of that, we want to ensure that our communication about our work together, our outreach, extends far beyond our governments. We want our private sectors working together much more closely. We think there are many great opportunities for joint ventures and investments. But frankly, we have work to do to explain the opportunities that exist. We want our universities and academic institutions working together. We want to spend time on improving agriculture and healthcare and so much else. We have an exciting presentation between our two information technology representatives about what can be done with greater investment in technology. And who benefits from that more than the individual Pakistani who gets information from a cell phone that helps with mobile banking or provides healthcare information?
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Telemedicine.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Telemedicine, exactly. So you can see we are very excited because I think both Shah Mehmood and I see this as ultimately about bettering the lives of people. That is what got me into politics. I know that’s what motivates his desires. So we really are looking for more and more ways that we can create those interactions and exchanges between our people, because that’s what this is all about.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: P.J. – P.J., could I respond to what you said? P.J., I was at the Hill yesterday and I share it with you as a fellow Pakistani – the mood was completely different. I’ll say it publicly. It was different. I was at the Senate. I was at the House. It’s 180 degree difference. We’ve turned the corner. And today, there was confidence. There were no question marks. There was no suspicion. There was no “do more.” There was recognition of what we already had done. There was appreciation of what we had already done. That’s one.
The other thing, the civil-military relations today in Pakistan are excellent. The fact that the army chief is part of the delegation that is here, the fact that we were sitting on the same table arguing, articulating Pakistan case, is unheard of in the past.
And today, thirdly, the Secretary mentioned the private sector, the vibrance of the private sector. Let me share with you that today at the State Department, we had a PPP conference. Let me qualify that – public-private partnership conference. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Thank you. Welcome back to Washington, Mr. Foreign Minister. This question is for both of you. Given that you were speaking about improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, I’d like to ask about reconciliation of the Taliban and what kind of role you envision for Pakistan. Do you envision a role for them in helping to mediate, and what could that do to the security of Pakistan?
And Secretary Clinton, if I might, George Mitchell is going to be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. What are you hoping to secure from the prime minister before he leaves in terms of commitments for the peace process? Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: As far as the reconciliation process goes, we’ve discussed it with President Karzai. Pakistan is very clear: We want this to be an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process. Now, it’s their choice. If they feel we can contribute, if we can help, we will be more than willing to help. But we leave it to them. We’ve had discussions when they were in Islamabad. I’ve invited the Afghan foreign minister to come to Islamabad for a detailed discussion on the reintegration/reconciliation process. He’s accepted my invitation and we’ll talk about it. Our aim is very simple: We want a peaceful, stable, friendly Afghanistan, period.
SECRETARY CLINTON: With respect to your question to me, Elise, we are engaged in ongoing discussions. And Senator Mitchell, as you pointed out, is very actively part of that. And I think that it’s very clear our goal is the resumption of negotiations, the launching of the proximity talks as soon as possible.
QUESTION: Any thoughts on reconciliation and whether Pakistan could --
SECRETARY CLINTON: I agree with what the foreign minister said.
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, you assured the people of Pakistan of your support in security-related issues and all other fields. But many in Pakistan believe that U.S. is supporting Pakistan because their real interest is only to confine Taliban and al-Qaida. And when it comes to the issues which are confronting Pakistan, and they have involvement of India, Americans seem too reluctant to play their real role. So how would you assure people of Pakistan that in all security-related issues, whether they are related to Taliban, terrorism, and India, American would play its due role?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s important to recognize that the United States has positive relationships with both Pakistan and India. And we certainly encourage the dialogue between India and Pakistan. The issues that are part of that dialogue need to be addressed, and resolution of them between the two countries would certainly be in everyone’s best interest.
But I want to just underscore that our goal in the Obama Administration is to make clear that we are going to be a partner with Pakistan going forward on a full range of matters. Now, we can’t dictate Pakistani foreign policy or Indian foreign policy. But we can encourage, as we do, the in-depth discussion between both countries that we think would benefit each of them with respect to security and development.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Can I also respond to you? You see, in the discussions that we’ve had, we underscored the importance of reviving the bilateral track. The last few years, the bilateral track was subsumed because of the Afghan situation, understandably so. We have now refocused on the bilateral track, and that means that our relationship goes beyond Afghanistan, and it has been discussed that the long-term U.S. interests lie east of Afghanistan; that is to be understood.
As far as India is concerned, they are a sovereign country and they have bilateral relations and we respect that – we respect that. But all we are saying that those relations should not be at the cost of Pakistan. And we are very clear and I think you are very clear on that. I’m of the view that Pakistan has been willing to engage. And I’m confident, as two years down the line, I’m confident of this relationship. I’m confident that India will have to revisit its policy and very soon.
MR. CROWLEY: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.
 

Vikramaditya

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I think Pakistan has realize that after WOT,USA is gonna kick their a$$ so this is the high time for them to bargain.bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
 

RPK

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Strategic Dialogue in Progress aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
 

Singh

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Pakistan knows US will abandon it after the troop withdrawal, just like US abandoned Pakistan post-Soviet withdrawal. Pakistan is trying to get as much as it can by leveraging its position. And certainly at least enough to allow it to offset the Indian military capabilities for the immediate future.

And I wouldn't be surprised if, post-Withdrawal, US slams severe sanctions on Pakistan and brandishes it an Axis of Evil terror promoting state.
 

Vinod2070

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They will get a lot of wind and little substance. A lot of old stuff repackaged as new aid.
 

Vikramaditya

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Pakistan want 35$USD, modern weapon in aid that to without condition and nuclear deal(like India).....
US tax payer is gonna kill barak...man///////>>>>>>


Does Pakistan have money for nuclear plant,well i don't think so, Pakistan has increased its nuclear weapon almost twice in recent years or so and they want uranium for that and this deal if happen will open the door for them to acquired Enriched uranium.
 

tarunraju

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I agree with you. But from Chinese POV, India COULD become a nemesis and an armed unfriendly(not necessarily hostile) neighbour is not very pleasing development. And add to it the CCP thinking of only tiger on one mountain, then we know the US is playing its cards right.
Theirs is a different "mountain". India-China did, do, and will maintain a safe distance from each other (using mutual military deterrence), but trade and economy will keep them from having any sort of long-term belligerence. Rivalry in economy, businesses don't quite translate into belligerence. With Pakistan it's different. Pakistan is being a country that can't afford its unrealistic ambitions, has a skewed vision of the world, and uses that to keep its internal power structure in place.
 

JAISWAL

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sir, this wish list can be called as MUNGERI LAL KE HASSIN SAPNE;;;;;;;;
 

JAISWAL

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And for china they are smart bussinesman who know how to sell FIRE (arms to pak) with out burning their hand(ipi gas link)
 

ajtr

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The U.S and Pakistan: It's All Talk

For Pakistanis, the latest talks between the United States and Pakistani officials in Washington, D.C. are just a repeat of what they've seen played out on their television screens so many times before. Even with the addition of the new chief of army staff, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, to the delegation, a wide-ranging agenda, and renewed commitment to partnership from both sides, most Pakistanis do not see a change in the status quo.

After it was announced that the United States would provide aid for power plants in Pakistan, a right-wing colleague of mine remarked: "Why don't we just hand over our country to [the United States] now." On local television stations analysts have been speculating that Kayani's inclusion is a sign that the military and the government are putting up a united front is hard for most Pakistanis to believe, as is the impression Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are working hard to promote -- that U.S.-Pakistan relations are taking a turn for the better.

Perhaps to give the impression that they are a key player in the region, Pakistan has gone along with a long list of U.S. demands, from acquiescing to the Coalition Support Funds to paying for the support for thermal power plants on the list. Ayaz Amir, a member of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the second largest party in the parliament, told me over the phone "I think we've set our expectations too high and our wish list is a bit too wishy-washy. We should've focused on one or two specific areas. Instead we've gone in with unrealistic expectations. These talks are no different from previous phases in our history, so we should not be carried away with this."

Cyril Almeida, a columnist at the daily newspaper Dawn, said during a phone interview, that during these talks we will likely see Pakistan making a push for what's already on the table -- for example support for the war against militancy, aid, infrastructure development, etc. "There's nothing new that you would expect either to announce, or nothing new that either side will learn about the other side. However, it is important whenever they meet, but at the same time, I don't see it as being a deal changer."

After 9 years of being ruled by a military ruler, the former president, General Pervez Musharraf, one saw Gen. Kayani, taking a backseat. But thanks to the ruling party the Pakistan People's Party mishandling of the reinstatement of deposed judges, one has seen the COAS nudge and push the government into handling domestic issues with more tact. According to Almeida, "From the Pakistani perspective, what is more important is that General Kayani is now increasingly comfortable with a high profile public role in Pakistan's foreign policy. From giving briefings to the media, chairing a meeting with the country's foreign secretaries and being seated in meetings with the Prime Minister, he is becoming uncomfortably comfortable in his newfound role as the "go to person" on Pakistan's foreign policy."

At the end of the day, even if the United States promises the moon (which it won't), and even if the Pakistani government comes back empty handed, or laden with promises, the situation in Pakistan will remain the same. Even with a lull in recent terror attacks, Pakistanis are braced every single day for the worst to happen. The current electricity shortfall in the country is now at 5,000 megawatts, meaning electricity cuts off from anywhere between 4 - 12 hours a day. Prime Minister Gilani is promising the world to Pakistanis at the moment, saying the delegation will discuss everything from power plants to Afia Siddiqui's case. The media wing of Pakistan's army -- the Inter Services Public Relations -- sends daily dispatches reporting such events as: "X number of militants was killed in army operations in the tribal areas," in an attempt to show that all is well in the country.

While this dialogue between the U.S. administration and the Pakistani government will surely continue, one wonders if all that is promised will be delivered. And with Pakistan's current government's record being so dismal on everything from implementing constitutional reforms to infrastructure development, it is highly likely that the Pakistan-U.S. talks will remain just that: talk.
 

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U.S. and Pakistan Agree to Reinforce Strategic Ties

WASHINGTON — Pakistan and the United States wrapped up two days of high-level talks on Thursday, with a raft of economic development initiatives, an agreement to hasten deliveries of military hardware and a promise to put their often mistrustful relationship on a new footing.

In a communiqué issued after the talks, the countries said they would “redouble their efforts to deal effectively with terrorism” and would work together for “peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Administration officials said Pakistan was likely to get swifter delivery of F-16 fighter jets, naval frigates and helicopter gunships, as well as new remotely piloted aircraft for surveillance missions. But the United States was silent about Pakistan’s most heavily advertised proposal: a civil nuclear agreement similar to the one the Bush administration signed with Pakistan’s archrival, India.

Given Pakistan’s history of selling nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea, such an agreement would realistically be 10 or 15 years away, a senior administration official said Thursday. Still, the administration was careful not to dismiss the idea out of hand.

“This is a new day,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in greeting Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi. “For the past year, the Obama administration has shown in our words and our deeds a different approach and a different attitude toward Pakistan.”

The “strategic dialogue” was by itself meant to send a message: The administration used the term reserved for the substantive, wide-ranging exchanges it carries on with important countries like China and India. Pakistan and the United States held three such dialogues during the Bush administration.

But last year, Mr. Qureshi asked Mrs. Clinton to upgrade the exchange to the level of foreign minister. On Wednesday, he said he hoped the two days of higher-level talks would help Pakistan and the United States overcome a history that “did not always enjoy a sunny side.”

Mr. Qureshi said the United States had agreed to put on a fast track some longstanding Pakistani requests for military hardware.

Although Mrs. Clinton deflected a question about civil nuclear cooperation, she said, “We’re committed to helping Pakistan meet its real energy needs.”

Among specific announcements was an agreement for the United States Agency for International Development to help Pakistan upgrade three thermal power plants. The administration said it would try to push through legislation creating so-called reconstruction opportunity zones in Pakistan. And it hopes to set up a fund to stimulate direct foreign investment.

Pakistan’s military campaign against Taliban insurgents in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan has improved the tenor of its relationship with Washington. But success on the battlefield cuts both ways for Pakistan, analysts said. It gives the country’s government in Islamabad a more credible argument for increased military aid. But it also imposes greater expectations from the United States about Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts and military cooperation.

“Yes, you get a pat on the back,” said Bruce O. Riedel, an expert on Pakistan at the Brookings Institution. “But now that you’ve shown you can do something, you’ve got to do more.”

Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan also remains a subject of intense scrutiny in the United States. The Pakistani authorities cooperated with the Central Intelligence Agency to capture the Taliban’s military chief, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. But some analysts question whether the Pakistanis are rounding up other Taliban leaders, including shadow Afghan governors, simply to make sure that Pakistan has leverage in any future political bargaining in Kabul.

Mr. Qureshi insisted that Pakistan wanted Afghanistan to lead this process. “If they feel we can contribute, if we can help, we’ll be more than willing to help,” he said. “But we leave it to them.”

On this subject, however, administration officials are more interested in hearing from Pakistan’s chief of army staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who was part of the delegation. General Kayani recently held talks in Islamabad with Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, and the general is viewed as critical to determining the role Pakistan will play.

Of all the raw nerves in the relationship, Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions may be the most sensitive. Islamabad yearns for an agreement with the United States because it would confer legitimacy on Pakistan’s existing program.

But Washington does not formally recognize Pakistan as a nuclear power. The selling of nuclear secrets by the father of its nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, and the country’s refusal to allow American investigators to have access to him ensures that this recognition may be a long way off.

“The question is, can you move somewhere toward giving legitimacy to a Pakistani nuclear program?” said Daniel S. Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Is there space between a civil nuclear deal and just saying ‘no’?”
 

ajtr

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U.S. and Pakistan Sign Letter of Intent on Support for Construction of Priority Roads in Pakistan to Aid in Malakand Reconstruction

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 25, 2010
Deputy Secretary of State Jacob J. Lew and Pakistan’s Finance Secretary Salman Siddique today signed a letter of intent regarding cooperation in construction of priority roads in Pakistan to aid in Malakand Reconstruction. Implementation of the construction project is scheduled to begin following the signature of an Amended Letter of Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of Pakistan and the obligation of funds. The project will consist of $40 million in United States assistance to upgrade two key roads: the Peshawar Ring Road and the road from Kanju to Madyan in Swat, North West Frontier Province. Both nations seek to prioritize the issues of greatest importance to the Pakistani people: security and economic growth. Better roads improve security by enhancing access by law enforcement officials, lower the cost of marketing farm output, enhance trade and transportation, and generate jobs. The projects will be executed through the NWFP Government and will be awarded to Pakistani companies using established, competitive procedures.
The project will involve the construction of approximately 43 kilometers of the Kanju-Madyan road in Swat, NWFP. This strategically important road in the devastated Swat area will facilitate the movements of security forces, help maintain public safety, and address post conflict infrastructure rehabilitation.
The Peshawar Ring Road project will reconstruct the ring road, which passes through rural areas, by adding a third truck lane, constructing a four kilometer bypass of the Hayatabad residential area, and linking the road to the Matani bypass road that the United States is currently supporting. This road was originally built in the late 1990s as a dual carriage way with two lanes in each direction, but is now the main route for heavy trucks and trailers traveling through the Torkam Pass, the major trade route to and from Afghanistan. As a result of the heavy truck traffic the road has been severely damaged, which slows traffic and makes vehicles more vulnerable to criminal elements along the way.
 

ajtr

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U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial Level March 24-25, 2010

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 25, 2010
Following is the text of a joint statement by the United States and Pakistan on the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

Begin text:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, accompanied by high level delegations, met in Washington on 24-25 March 2010 for the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

In conformity with the importance that both the United States and Pakistan attach to taking further steps to broaden and deepen their comprehensive cooperation and to further fortify the friendship between the two peoples, the Strategic Dialogue was elevated to the Ministerial level.

A Policy Steering Group was established to intensify and expand the sectoral dialogue process in the fields of: economy and trade; energy; defense; security, strategic stability and non-proliferation; law enforcement and counter-terrorism; science and technology; education; agriculture; water; health; and communications and public diplomacy. Sectoral meetings will be held in Islamabad soon.

Both sides exchanged views on the status of bilateral cooperation and decided to continually provide strategic guidance for strengthening U.S.-Pakistan partnership in the 21st Century for realizing the aspirations of their people.

They reiterated that the core foundations of this partnership are shared democratic values, mutual trust and mutual respect. A stable, enduring and broad-based cooperative partnership is in the fundamental interest of both countries. Both the United States and Pakistan are determined to foster goodwill and friendship between their people and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation.

Secretary Clinton paid tribute to the courage and resolve of the people of Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and militancy. Both sides acknowledged the common threat that terrorism and extremism posed to global, regional and local security. Pakistan expressed its appreciation for U.S. security assistance. Both governments committed to redouble their efforts to deal effectively with terrorism and to protect the common ideals and shared values of democracy, tolerance, openness and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Both sides exchanged views on measures to enhance Pakistan’s inherent capacities to realize the vision of a democratic, progressive state, committed to socio-economic advancement and to effectively address political, economic, development and security challenges.

The United States re-affirmed its resolve to assist Pakistan to overcome socio-economic challenges by providing technical and economic assistance and to enable Pakistan to build its strengths by optimal utilization of its considerable human and natural resources and entrepreneurial skills.

The United States committed to work towards enhanced market access for Pakistani products as well as towards the early finalization of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones legislation. The two governments decided to discuss issues related to the Bilateral Investment Treaty in order to stimulate investment in Pakistan.

The United States and Pakistan discussed creating an investment fund to support increased foreign direct investment and development in Pakistan. Such a fund could provide much needed additional support for Pakistan’s energy sector and other high priority areas.

The United States recognized the importance of assisting Pakistan to overcome its energy deficit and committed to further intensify and expand comprehensive cooperation in the energy sector, including through the Signature Energy Program.

Recognizing the crucial importance of water for human survival and development, both sides decided to add a separate sectoral track in the Strategic Dialogue to focus on water conservation, watershed management and U.S. assistance in water projects.

Pakistan expressed its appreciation for U.S. assistance for socio-economic development that would contribute towards improving the lives of the people of Pakistan.

The two sides comprehensively shared perspectives on regional and global issues. Both reaffirmed the importance of advancing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reaffirmed their commitment to a wide-ranging, long-term and substantive strategic partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

To carry forward this process, the next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue will be held in Islamabad co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Qureshi.
 

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