We are piling diplomatic pressure on US: PM

Published: April 14, 2011

Gilani says Pakistan and Afghanistan must draw up a joint strategy against terrorism. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said his government was piling diplomatic pressure on the United States to halt drone strikes in the tribal areas.

“We are trying to convince the world that they (drone strikes) are against us … We need to put an end to them,” Gilani told the National Assembly. “We are against drone attacks . They are ruining our strategy (to tackle militancy). They make our job, to separate the militants from the public, difficult.”

The premier’s comments came after the opposition sought a policy statement regarding drone strikes and a lawmaker from Bajaur Agency threatened to use his influence over the tribal communities to block supplies for American troops stationed in Afghanistan.

It was the leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who asked the government to explain its position on drone strikes.

Khan also urged the premier to share with the house under which mandate ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha visited the US to discuss security relations with the American spy chief.

Gilani, however, refused to comment on the visit and instead only condemned the drone strikes and reminded the Americans that the Afghan war could not be won without Pakistan’s support.

The prime minister also did not elaborate on the kind of diplomatic pressure Islamabad was putting on Washington to review its policy of hitting high-value targets through unmanned aircrafts.

Akhundzada Chattan, a lawmaker from Bajaur, threatened to unite the tribesmen in order to block the supplies for US-led Nato forces fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan if drone strikes were not immediately halted.

He also staged a walkout in protest against the latest attack that killed six in South Waziristan.

Gilani said that Pakistan and Afghanistan were bearing the brunt of the war on terror, and that the two countries had realised they would have to come up with a joint strategy to save their people from more sufferings.

“I am going to Kabul. I have been there. We (Pakistan and Afghanistan) have paid a huge price and there is a realisation that we will have to stand united against the common enemy,” he said.

Regarding the release of CIA agent Raymond Davis, the premier rejected Khan’s objections, saying it was the court’s decision and hence, must be accepted by all.

The prime minister also said that the reopening of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s ‘judicial murder’ case would help the judiciary rectify an historic wrong.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • Stewart A
    Apr 13, 2011 - 8:07PM

    I get the feeling that the military and the ISI are not able to stomach their “strategic assets” being whittled down one terrorist at a time. After all, they have expended great time and money to nurture them. They were supposed to wrest Kashmeer for them. Now Pakistan is being shafted from both sides.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 13, 2011 - 8:46PM

    “Pakistan holds an important strategic position in the Afghanistan war which cannot be won without the help of Pakistan.”

    So hitherto PAK was not helping?

    PAK army chief says ” Drones Must stop”

    PAK ISI chief visits CIA -Fresh Drone strikes.

    ” Terrorism requires global response” – PAK president.

    ” This is our land. We know how to tackle this. We know how to set the rules” – PAK army

    What is going on in PAK? Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Apr 13, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @Stewart A:

    that is conjecture at best. these strikes are certainly killing civilian population and the government and the army are facing severe pressure on eliminating them. the ISI and the army have other ways of protecting their assets, if that were to be the case. i can assure you that kashmir is not and cannot be wrested with militancy and the use of proxies. the ISI knows this and the government knows this. the indian government in its blindness has ignored the issue but the kashmiris themselves will get what they want. they dont need pakistan other than its diplomatic and moral support. Recommend

  • Neeraj, India
    Apr 13, 2011 - 9:28PM

    Pakistan has no moral right to protest against drone attacks because, North Waziristan is an independent and sovereign territory ruled by the local Taliban. Mr. Gilani’s protest would sound credible only if Pakistan establishes its control and writ in the area.
    Besides, Pakistan itself uses heavy artillery, helicopter gunships and fighter jets against insurgents. Do Pak shells, bombs and rockets fall only on the heads of the terrorist and not on the civilians? Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 13, 2011 - 9:35PM

    When one side is trying to protect its assets and other side is destroying it, there is no shared goals!!!
    This cooperation is based solely on Financial Aid and Assistance by the USA to Pakistan, otherwise these lot have no vision or desire to do anything on their own.
    This is the main reason the people on the ground on US side simply do not trust their Pakistani counterparts!!!!!
    But if one upsets Uncle Sam too much , then there will be no more money!!! Uncle Sam allows these lot for posterity sake to make ridiculas comments for their masses and media, but they are just hollow words for show!!!!! try stopping USA and see what they will do!! Even Obama, forget Bush, as he would have been a real nightmare for pakistan.Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Apr 13, 2011 - 10:06PM

    This was Perhaps a parting gift to Mr. Pasha from the CIA chief, As mentioned earlier that the defence forces are incapable of Putting a stop to it. The only avenue available to Pakistan is to protest the strikes and that to, to deaf ears. Pakistan can and could do more if they sincerely meant it. This is a clear message to the ISI that it is either the American way or Pakistan cam take the Highway. Recommend

  • Grace
    Apr 13, 2011 - 10:25PM

    @Stewart A: What you forget is that Pakistan is in it for the long haul. When the West tires and runs off as it invariably will, Pakistan will have to clean up the mess. At this the Pakistani military and the ISI are most proficient. As for state sponsored terrorism by India and her proxies in Afghanistan, the Pakistani military has largely got it under control. Most of the foreign sponsored criminals are on the run and can only muster cowardly attacks on civilians. The job of the Pak military is to improve our current situation in anticipation of the inevitable pull out. This is why many of Pakistan’s neighbours now fear the pending departure of the Western nations and the resurgence of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Chilli
    Apr 13, 2011 - 10:54PM

    Dollars has spoiled Pakistan Army and Government. Projecting War on Terror as sacred is begining to expose reality. Coallition failed miserably in Afghanistan and now killing civillians to cover their failure.Recommend

  • DFlorida
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:08PM

    As you sow, so shall you reap !!! We need Imran Khan.Recommend

  • No BS
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:25PM

    @Stewart A:
    SInce drones are such a blessing dont deprive the american people, share the love with them and the rest of the world tooRecommend

  • Mir Agha
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:59PM

    Stew, that would make sense if the ‘terrorists’ weren’t winning, on both sides of the border. Drone strikes haven’t been able to stop the ‘isi assets’ from gaining control in Afpak, both in military strategic and societal terms.Recommend

  • Ajay
    Apr 14, 2011 - 1:47AM

    “One terrorist at a time” indeed. How tormented they must be ISI-Army in Pakistan and the Hamid Guls!!!

    The Army wont do anything itself nor will it let US do the job! The Army does a little bit of action sometime and it begins to feel it has done a lot and needs lots of rewards while US is feeling frustrated with dealin with nincompoops who they know like to make lot of demands but when shown the hard facts (given education) will give up and accept in the end. So US knows that they have to spend time iwth these Amry folks time and again. Eventually they will fall in line.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Apr 14, 2011 - 2:22AM

    @Stewart: It’s not “only” us who have nurtured them over time. US has done it with us. So if they have to pay for their past mistakes now, it is only fair. Take off your small aperture glasses.Recommend

  • Muli
    Apr 14, 2011 - 5:01AM

    @Stewart A:

    America had its own plans in financing and supporting these murderers during cold war, and Pakistan had its own. History has proven both wrong. It was the american policy that created these yahoos, and it is the american policy that this evil endures. But Pakistan is paying the biggest price for American iterest. Its about time we carry our own burden.Recommend

  • Jack Daniels
    Apr 14, 2011 - 8:43AM

    It’s not clear how PM Gilani is going to pile pressure on the US. Even while ISI chief Pasha was meeting the CIA’s Panetta, drone attacks are said to have commenced. Now that doesn’t sound like PM Gilani’s pressure on US is working. Recommend

  • True pakistani
    Apr 14, 2011 - 9:08AM

    So we are allowed to Kill any person on name of Islam , we can send attacker at Afghanistan to kill American , In response they cannot kill militant In Pakistan….Thats Mr. Gilani wants… Recommend

  • Arsalan
    Apr 14, 2011 - 9:39AM

    “We are piling diplomatic pressure on US: PM” Wota Joke ;) are you serious ? :D come on don’t be Funny
    Give us a break ! Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Apr 14, 2011 - 9:46AM

    You and pressure? hahahahahahah. Beggars cant put pressure but take pressure. Especially when they are beggars like you who can sell anyone to get personal gains.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 14, 2011 - 9:55AM

    “We (Pakistan and Afghanistan) have paid a huge price and there is a realisation that we will have to stand united against the common enemy,”

    Who is the common enemy ? US, Taliban or Taliban derivatives, or Haqqani network.

    Drones have become a scope goat. Glad to see that all are united on that Recommend

  • Srinath
    Apr 14, 2011 - 10:02AM

    “Khan also urged the premier to share with the house under which mandate ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha visited the US to…”

    Nisarbhai is asking the tail to wag the dog!Recommend

  • PEACE
    Apr 14, 2011 - 10:03AM

    1.5 Billion is owed to the United States Mr Gilani. The money was given in the anticipation you would do what you agreed on NW Packistan. Millitants do not count..We want AQ & ALL its Networks in Packistan…Even if you declare an act of WAR..THE U.S going after the Terror Networks in NW Packistan that you have been protecting. These groups are plotting attacks & acting them out on the West..Biden warned you!!! ” They Will Consume You” !!!Recommend

  • Mastuj
    Apr 14, 2011 - 10:20AM

    Hypocrite. If you can’t do anything about it, you shouldn’t be in power. GET OUT.Recommend

  • Chilli
    Apr 14, 2011 - 10:23AM

    Fooling Pakistan. Where is our Army which is eating major chunk of our taxes??? can’t they stop drones?? where are our JF Thunders?? Where is our air defence system?? Do you think people are so ignorant. No action is taken because of Dollars alone.Recommend

  • Mazhar Shah
    Apr 14, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Mr. Gilani how you have exported Raymond Davis without passport. It was decided by court to let him go without passport and did court gave cover to family of decised. Did court inquired who is paying the money. Where is the court decision in detail. Is there any flaw in sharia law when it was applied for Raymond Devis???????
    I am sure no one in your administration shall reply me as you are involved in releasing him and taking sheild of court.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Apr 14, 2011 - 11:42AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Basically,actually and truly our leaders are just supposed to have trusted Allah Almighty and we didn’t give due importance to Allah Almighty and are afraid of US economic sanctions and strongly consider that if US stopped our aid then we shall have nothing to survive economically,fiscally and financially and as a consequence of distrust Allah Almighty the Almighty Allah handed over us to the non-muslims’ advanced countries completely.This is why now we are in these the most worst economical,financial and internal and external security collapsed conditions and despite having all the Allah Almighty’s bestowed treasures and blessings on Pakistan we are beggars before the advanced Western nations,IMF and World Bank.We shall always beggars unless we change our attitudes and make strong relations and contacts with Allah Almighty as Allah Almighty deserves.Recommend

  • Apr 14, 2011 - 11:44AM

    This guy Gillani lives in his own strange world. LolRecommend

  • Andreas
    Apr 14, 2011 - 12:04PM

    Its not as easy as it seems! Pakistani officials are not impotent. They have been smarter than their US counterparts during the era 1980to1990. Problem is that Pakistan have always been avoiding killings because in the end it will turn into Pakistan’s disadvantage.Recommend

  • Fahd hassan
    Apr 14, 2011 - 12:12PM

    Mr. PM, you couldn’t have entertained me with better antics than this one; piling pressure. Well to add to your miserable book of knowledge Mr. Gilani, when you have the ability to govern, and have some self respect under your suits, and can step into the shoes of the common man I’m certain you have not seen in years, then you know that we Pakistanis, the common ones of course, are men of self respect and ‘ghairat’ and piling pressure here, which clearly means, ‘asking others to beg the U.S to stop attacking us’ is an affront to our national honor. To us Pakistan is home and if you ever knew the meaning of this, instead of piling pressure, you would have asked the PAF to pile few missiles into those approaching drones or…..not let them fly at all for we all know these drones are lifting off of Pakistani Air Bases with all prior permissions. The timing of this drone attack coinciding with the ISI-CIA chiefs post meet up foot work, clearly points that we have given the go to further missile strikes.

    Therefore Mr. Gilani, please do not insult us, the common man I mean, with your ‘statesman ship’ talent of piling pressure. We all know that doesnt mean anything. You have the more important tasks of solving Benazir Bhutto and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto murder cases, removing Musharraf’s name from Presidents of Pakistan list, having Musharraf arrested, delivering lecture on democracy’s best revenge, passing the evil buck to an equally talented Zardari and so on, without which Pakistan would certainly crumble….Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Apr 14, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Shame on you Mr.Prime Minister , you are strategic partner of USA and you are looking towards other countries to help you stop the drone attacks????? Sharam Karo !!!! We should stop spending 50% of our annual budget on Armed Forces because they cannot and will not protect people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Apr 14, 2011 - 1:13PM

    @Ahmer Ali
    No offense dude, but you seriously sound like someone from feudal age . I am not saying this because you noted something against USA. I seriously dont care brother what you speak about USA. What bothers me is people take name of “The Almigty” to solve your man made problems. Wake up, dirty your hands and clean your own mess. God helps those who helps themselves. Just growing beard, and carrying beads is not going to help you or anyone whom you care about. For starters don’t rot your brain in blind faith, educate yourself. God wants you to get educated and not just sit on charpai and do “Allah Allah” all day. I am not limiting my speech to muslims, anybody whether it is Hindu , Sikh, Christian, Jew, who ever uses God’s name and excuse to be most un productive citizen are a disgust to mankind.Recommend

  • ba ha
    Apr 14, 2011 - 2:21PM

    Glad to know you are piling diplomatic pressure on them. They are piling undiplomatic “hell fire” on u. Enough of this nonsense. Do something!Recommend

  • Khan
    Apr 14, 2011 - 3:44PM

    Not a new news we know all very well that our foreign and ecnomic policies are being drafted by others countries and all you currput politicians have no courage to solve the problems of your country .. I am not understading yet what good things are being done by people of Pakistan that ALLAH has kept still Pakistan on map of world..

    There is clear news about IRAN involment in war of Afganistan but America never dare to drone attack on them because they know IRAN has brave leadership and know how to answer .. but in Pakistan they are moving like they are moving in wahsington street and do whatwever they want .. Shame on Pakistan leadership ..Recommend

  • Aliana
    Apr 14, 2011 - 4:04PM

    Piling diplomatic pressure keep piling, LOLRecommend

  • Chilli
    Apr 14, 2011 - 9:23PM

    Thank you Musharaf..Recommend

  • LOL
    Apr 14, 2011 - 10:29PM

    @ Grace – here you are again. Delusional as always. Pakistan’s problems are its own creation. You’ve run out of scapegoats.

    @ Mr. Gillani – LOL. This is hilarious. This is like saying, “I am putting pressure on the bank to not force me out of my house because I can’t pay my bills. The bank is so mean! Let me call my mommy!”

    No one is going to side with Pakistan. Pakistan is a pariah in the international community. Even Afghanistan hates Pakistan. China deals with Pakistan only because it worries about India. I can’t think of one country that could say with a straight face that “Pakistan is a force for good in the world.” There are many wonderful Pakistanis – sadly, they are constrained by how awful their nation’s identity has become because of terrorists and jokester politicians. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 15, 2011 - 5:06AM

    Take control of your so called “sovereign territory” and drive out the terrorist – so long as the terrorist have sanctuary within Pakistan no one is going to provide you with any diplomatic help. The World (including fellow Muslim countries) views Pakistan as the nexus of terrorism – and both Afghanistan and India would prefer not to have Pakistan as a neighbor. At some point in time Pakistan is going to have to take responsibility for territory that it claims as “sovereign” – why not do it now when you can get international support? Recommend

  • Apr 15, 2011 - 6:21AM

    PPP PM Yousuf Raza Gilani must resign now because Gilani illegally authorized or supported US drone bomb attacks on Pakistan and failed to stop US drone missile strikes against innocent Pakistanis.

    In the US Embassy cable, dated 23-8-2008, US ex-Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson wrote: “Malik suggested we hold off Predator attacks until after the Bajaur operation. The [PPPP] PM [Yousuf Gilani] brushed aside Rehman’s remarks and said: I do not care if they [American CIA and US military] do it [murder innocent Pakistanis in Khyber/FATA, Pakistan] as long as they get [kill] the right [Pakistani] people. We will protest in the [Pakistan] National Assembly and then ignore it.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/167125Recommend

  • Pakistani57
    Apr 15, 2011 - 6:58AM

    The time is nigh US will soon run back with its tail between its leg and we will restore the status quo pity the proxies would loose their investmentsRecommend

  • Asad Ali Bawa
    Apr 15, 2011 - 7:25AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum!! Everything happens by the will of the Almighty Allah. Allah decides who dies and who lives, the drones are mere instruments in his hands. Go back to the Quran my dear friends, you will find the truth!! The USA is dropping drones to help the Kafir Indians. All the problems will vanish once we eliminate the hindu pigs. Some sikhs and hindoos from the indian army, pretending to be taliban are blowing up our holy shrines! Wake up friends, go back to the source, the word of the almighty as revealed to our holy prophet (PBUH). Our holy prophet (PBUH) hated the kafirs, that is the truth!!Recommend

  • bvindh
    Apr 15, 2011 - 1:42PM

    “We are piling diplomatic pressure on US: PM”

    –Well, we have a lot of “piles” missing in action!!Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Apr 16, 2011 - 12:56AM

    @Asad Ali Bawa – welcome my dear online mulla, I pity the students of madrasa where you preach.Recommend

  • DIG
    Apr 16, 2011 - 10:54PM

    Well done Gilani sahib keep it up!Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 17, 2011 - 3:27AM

    @DIG:
    Yes another candidate for asylum in UK , in near future!!! You Guys really do have a panache for picking idioys to rule you!!!Recommend

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