Home > Article > Clinton’s bluster creates huge backlash in PakistanClinton’s bluster creates huge backlash in Pakistan

Clinton’s bluster creates huge backlash in PakistanClinton’s bluster creates huge backlash in Pakistan


Clinton’s bluster creates huge backlash in Pakistan

Just a few weeks ago Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi and Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton met in Washington with all the key players in a “Strategic Dialogue”. There was bonhomie and trust. There were huge expectations that the relations would now move forward in a positive spirit of cooperation. All the goodwill that Clinton had created in Washington evaporated when Clinton threatened Pakistan in an open forum.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made two statement in a swagger of hubris and arrogance. She has claimed that Pakistanis know where Osama Bin Laden is and she has warned Pakistan of sever consequences if another attack is successful in America.

These two statements have now been run on Pakistan’s 80 channels 24/7 and all talk shows are discussing them with serious concern. If Mrs. Clinton could do anything to destroy the Pakistani-American rapprochement, she did it in a few seconds.  While the compliant Shah Mahmood Qureshi was all thumbs and did not do any theatrics to mollify the incensed Pakistanis.

The temperature has been raised.

The TTP has been a terror group for several years. They have accepted responsibility for many of the wanton acts of violence against Pakistani civilians. Many have claimed that the TTP was responsible for the death of Benazir Bhutto.

In fact dozens of suicide bombs have been attributed to the TTP. They have sworn vengeance on the Pakistani government for supporting the US. For years the Pakistanis have complained that the US targeted civilians in FATA but did not target Fazalullah when he was running amok in Swat. Some Pakistani intelligence officials complained that even after exact coordinates of Fazalullah were given to the CIA, it did not act against him.

Fazalullah was broadcasting on hidden portable FM radios–however Washington did nothing to halt the vitriolic speeches or jam the radio stations. The first time the CIA acted against the TTP was when that TTP took credit for the worst losses of that the CIA had ever suffered. The TTP operative wiped out the CIA presence right next to the Pakistani border.

When the drones supposedly attacked the TTP, it allegedly eliminated the TTP head. However there are conflicting reports emanating from FATA. There was much euphoria in Pakistan that Islamabad’s Public Enemy Number One has been eliminated. The glee was short lived.

There are unconfirmed reports that Fazalullah is alive. The CIA also claimed that the Hakeemullah has been killed. Hakeemullah recently appeared on TV and directly threatened the US. Still the TTP does not appear on the US terror list. The CIA thus lied about the killing or did not know about it. In either case, there is much to be investigated on this matter.

Most recently the US forces withdrew and abandoned their positions when the Pakistani Army was eliminating the terrorists in South Waziristan.

For all the attention paid to the Pakistan Taliban since the group allegedly backed a failed car bombing in Times Square, the government has yet to take one key step: placing it on the official U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Investigators say they now believe the Pakistan Taliban, known as Tehrik-i-Taliban, or TTP, was behind the car bombing plot by suspect Faisal Shahzad. Yet the State Department has yet to put the group on its list of terror networks – an important distinction that allows federal prosecutors to use a particular anti-terror statute against people supporting the group.

The designation also clears the way for the U.S. to freeze assets of the group and bar entry of foreigners affiliated with the organization.

Sen. Charles Schumer is gathering other lawmakers to press Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to name the Pakistan Taliban to the terror list. Senators are holding a press conference on the issue Tuesday morning.

Most Pakistani analysts and think tanks are wondering about the real motives of the United States. Even after the supposed links of the Times Square bomber, the TTP was not put on the terror list.

The US, if it wanted could target TTP operatives, but it did not.

The Pakistani Foreign Minister Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureshi has claimed that the US-Pakistani relations have been damaged because of the acts of one individual. How fragile are the American Pakistani relations? One wanton act of an individual can derail the grandiose “Strategic Dialogue”? What kind of partnership is this? How fickle is Ms. Hillary Clinton? Firecrackers in Times Square, and the she throws a tizzy fit and begins threatening a Nuclear Powered Major Non-NATO-Ally (MNNA), a strategic partner, and a front line state in the war against terror. It was one of the most disgusting statements that Ms. Clinton had made. Is this the same Clinton that made fun of Obama when he used to talk about taking out terrorists in Pakistan. At the time candidate Clinton was rubbishing Obama’s tough talk and was reminding the American people that Pakistan was a Nuclear state.

When the Americans indicated that  Osama Bin Laden was in Iran, Ahmedinijad immediately retorted back that Osama was in Washington. Mr. Qureshi was too busy smiling to respond to the inane accusation by Hillary Clinton.

While most Pakistanis were squeamish about Faisal Shahzad, and detested his actions, however the bluster from McChrystal (later denied), and threats from Clinton (watered down by Holbrooke) has brought out all the skeletons about fickle US attitudes. Today Ms. Clinton stands out as the “Ugly American”. Islamabad had provided full support to the Americans and even arrested Faisal’s illustrious father and family. However Ms. Clinton chose to pander to her domestic audience and jeopardized the long term American interests in South and West Asia.

Threats by Richard Armitage of “bombing Pakistan into the stone age” were not necessary. Pakistan had already announced unstinting support to the US. The crass threats are seared into Pakistani memory and create Anti-Americanism that last a generation.

Mr. Faisal may not be around for long but Ms. Clinton’s threats will not be forgotten soon–they will live in infamy for generations.

There is some indication that Bharat has recognized the fact that the US has not been playing an honest role in South Asia. Delhi is perplexed with Headley’s actions and totally flabbergasted by the CIAs possible role in the Mumbai attacks. Perhaps some sanity is seeping into Delhi. There is trepidation in Delhi about America’s nefarious plans in Afghanistan.

This means that Bharati overtures towards Pakistan may not be happening under US pressure–there may be a realization in Delhi that cooperation with Pakistan may be in Bharati interests.

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