One can easily say that the Pakistani leadership sure knows how to charm their American counterparts. Whether it be the Zardari-Palin incident or the recent meeting between Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, it is apparent that charm is the new tool Pakistan is using to better expand their relations.
The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari created headlines when he met with Sarah Palin in September of 2008. At that point, Zardari had been recently elected as the President of Pakistan while Palin was the Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican nominee John McCain.
Their first ‘official’ meeting caused a huge stir in the media of the both US, Pakistan and of course the rest of the world. Upon entering the room, Palin shook Zardari’s hand and said that she was honored to meet him. Zardari however called her gorgeous and jested that now he knows why America is ‘crazy’ about her. A little later when asked to keep shaking hands for the cameras, Zardari again quipped and said if insisted upon, he would even hug.
Needless to say that this ‘meeting’ caused a massive uproar in media all over the world where Zardari’s gaffes weren’t viewed with much ‘jest’ – Palin also got her share of criticism, but that was mostly for being ‘uninformed’ (For those who do not know, her brief remarks about meeting President Zardari were: ‘These meetings are very informative and helpful, and a lot of good people sharing appreciation for America’)
Recently, the US-Pakistan ties got a little boost again. US Secretary of StateHilary Clinton was meeting Qureshi and from the apparent look of things, the tide was turning. After the meeting Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that he was a ‘happy and a satisfied man’ after the talks with US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.
If the old adage of pictures speaking more than a thousand words was put forth then Tuesday’s meeting showed that it was Qureshi’s charm that played an active part in all of that. Hillary Clinton looked thoroughly, (there it comes again) charmed and besotted by Pakistan’s handsome Foreign Minister.
That Shah Mehmood Qureshi was feeling successful was not without due cause. The talks on Tuesday have reinforced Pakistan and America’s growing friendship and focused on the fragile trust that’s strengthening between the two.
Pakistan has played an instrumental role in curbing war on terror and most of the times at its own expense where thousands of lives of its people have been lost. So getting credit for playing a major part in war on terror would undeniably bolster Pakistan, which is facing tumultuous times. Though discussion on a civilian-nuclear deal and talks about Kashmir were also on the wish-list by Pakistan, but they were cooled by the Secretary of State. Even without those, that there is a fragile but growing bond of trust that’s developing between the countries cannot be denied.