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Friday, May 27

Hillary Clinton's surprise visit to Pakistan to grandstand for cooperation (UPDATED)

May 27, 2011:
Clinton in Pakistan, presses for more to quash
By Arshad Mohammed
Fri May 27, 2011 1:06am EDT

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The United States said on Friday that Pakistan has failed to grasp just how much more it must do to quash Islamist militancy, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad amid tense relations over the killing of Osama bin Laden.
"They have cooperated; we have always wanted more," a U.S. official told reporters traveling on Clinton's plane ahead of the surprise visit.

"They have actually, from their perspective, done a lot. What they have never really grasped is how much more they have to do in order to protect themselves and, from our point of view, protect our interests and assist us in ways that are going to facilitate our transition in Afghanistan."
I wonder if it's occurred to Clinton, et al. that the Obama administration would do better at conveying its points if Rawalpindi didn't know that the U.S. Department of State and the CIA were engaging in 'secret' negotiations with Taliban terrorists.

The U.S. wants Pakistan to get more serious about fighting the terrorists. When is the U.S. going to get more serious? That's a question Hamid Karzai asked for years, until he finally got sick of having his arms twisted out of their sockets by the British and U.S. in the NATO command, who wanted him to negotiate a suicidal peace with the Taliban.

Does Washington think the Pakistani government doesn't know this? Does it think the military leadership in Rawalpindi doesn't know?

So why doesn't Washington try something new for a change? Lead by actions instead of words. That might also reduce greenhouse gases by a significant amount.
More details from The Washington Post on Clinton's visit. I've highlighted what
I consider to be a key point.
Clinton visits Pakistan to firm up new ties
By Karen deyoung, Friday, May 27, 3:55 AM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met here this morning with top Pakistani officials on a brief visit designed to establish new ground rules for the shaky U.S.-Pakistani relationship.

With no advance public notice, amid tight security, Clinton traveled directly from the airport for meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s military and intelligence chiefs. She was accompanied by Adm. Michael Mullen, who arrived here Thursday night.

At the presidential palace, with only a camera crew allowed to briefly witness the greeting with no sound recording, a grim-faced Clinton was heard repeating what she said was President Obama’s “strong support for the relationship and our commitment to working with and support for Pakistan, and the recognition of the sacrifice that is made ... by your country” in fighting terrorism.

Also present were Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, military chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Pakistan’s acting foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar.

Clinton is the highest-ranking administration official to visit here since Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. commando raid at his hideout in the nearby city of Abbottabad early this month. She postponed a trip scheduled last week as a sign of U.S. displeasure, and Friday’s visit was confirmed only after the Pakistanis agreed this week to allow CIA officials to examine bin laden’s compound and speak to the al-Qaeda leader’s wives and others who came in contact with him during his six year residence.

Officials traveling with Clinton said that her private message would be a stern one, listing four areas of cooperation outlined last week during a visit by Marc Grossman, the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Deputy CIA Director Michael J. Morell.

The access now granted to the Abbottabad compound was the first U.S. request. Clinton will also emphasize the need for increased Pakistani cooperation in counterterrorism operations against insurgent safe havens in tribal areas, and in facilitating nascent U.S. and Afghan government reconciliation talks with the Taliban, as well as efforts by Pakistani leaders to counter — rather than encourage — widespread anti-Americanism among the Pakistani public.

A senior administration official said Clinton was looking for “specific signs from Pakistan ... in terms of which way our relationship would go in the future.”

She will also note that Congress has questioned the continuance of U.S. aid to Pakistan in light of the bin Laden discovery and other counterterrorism challenges.

Although she plans to stay on the ground only a few hours, Clinton “wouldn’t be [here] if we didn’t think it will have a positive effect on their thinking,” the official said of the Pakistanis.

Clinton and Mullen will also hold a separate session with Kayani and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, head of Pakistan’s Inter-Sevices Intelligence agency.

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