Anti-Americanism Will Not End Pakistan’s Problems: Clinton

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alan
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday told Pakistan that the country needed to understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not end its problems.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday told Pakistan that the country needed to understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not end its problems.

“Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make the problem disappear,” Clinton told a news conference following talks with Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a a news conference at the US embassy after meeting with Pakistani leaders and military officials in Islamabad on May 27, 2011. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on May 27 she was even more committed to Pakistan after Osama bin Laden's killing, but said the country needed to do more in its battle with Islamist militants. Clinton is the most senior US official to visit Islamabad since relations between the wary allies went into freefall over the US Navy SEALs raid on May 2 that killed the Al-Qaeda chief in the city of Abbottabad.

Pakistan was left humiliated and angry after an American raid killed Osama bin Laden two hours’ from the capital on May 2.

Clinton said there was no evidence that Pakistani government leaders knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding, following talks in Islamabad a month after he was killed. She said that Pakistani officials had said that “somebody, somewhere” was providing support for Osama bin Laden in Pakistan before he was killed by US forces this month.

“This was an especially important visit because we have reached a turning point. Osama bin Laden is dead but al Qaeda and his syndicate of terror remain a serious threat to us both,” Clinton said.

“There is a momentum toward political reconciliation in Afghanistan but the insurgency continues to operate from safe havens here in Pakistan,” she added, saying she believed that Pakistan and the United States had the same goals. “America cannot and should not solve Pakistan’s problems. That’s up to Pakistan,” she said.

She added that the US needs Pakistan’s help in negotiating an end to the fighting in Afghanistan and that “for reconciliation to succeed Pakistan must be part of this process.”

While the top US diplomat said no nation had paid a higher price to terrorism than Pakistan, she added: “We both recognise there is still much more work required and it’s urgent.” She said there was “absolutely no evidence that anyone at the highest level of the Pakistani government” knew where bin Laden was.

Anti-Americanism Will Not End Pakistan’s Problems: Clinton

The unilateral operation has fuelled widespread anti-American sentiment in the country, which has long been high over a covert CIA drone war against militant commanders in the country’s northwestern tribal belt.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who accompanied Clinton in her meetings pleaded for greater co-operation between the two wary allies in the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Clinton denied that the meetings, held under blanket security, were tense and said she had heard Pakistan commit to “some very specific action”, saying the country deserved more credit for its efforts in the war on militants.

“I return to Washington ever more committed,” to the relationship, she said.

“They are now having to look at some very tough questions that they either tried to avoid or which they gave inadequate answers to before,” a senior US official told reporters travelling with Clinton.

DAWN