Strategic dialogue: Pakistan seeks US military training

Published: July 6, 2011

Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield (L) shakes hands with Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik (R) prior to US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue on Law Reinforcement and Counter Terrorism meeting in Islamabad on July 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Days after Pakistan’s insistence that the US withdraw its military personnel, Islamabad is now seeking Washington’s help in countering terrorism and in setting up an academy to train law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials in the use of explosives.

This was discussed at a meeting of the Pakistan-US Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism in Islamabad on Tuesday. A 15-member US delegation led by US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement William Brownfield met Interior Minister Rehman Malik, officials from the interior ministry, the police and counter-terrorism experts.

The meeting remained vague in terms of whether Pakistan would allow more US military personnel on its territory, even if it was just for training.

However, the interior minister sought US assistance in the fight against terrorism and in the capacity building of the country’s law enforcement agencies against improvised explosives devices (IEDs).

“More than 11,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives to IED explosions. It is a deadly weapon in the hands of terrorists,” said Malik.

Taking note of the easily-accessible and inexpensive fertilisers, the main raw material used in the making of IEDs, Malik said changes will be made to the Explosives Act to make it more stringent and effective against illegal production and distribution of fertilisers across the country.

Brownfield said his government was committed to continuing the strategic dialogue with Pakistan. “We have shared our objectives and interests. It will lead us to conclusions that will benefit both of us,” he said. “There was a consensus here to fight the common enemy – the terrorists. We need to have a common strategy.”

Speaking about the visa controversy, Brownfield said Pakistan was a sovereign state which could not be dictated to, while Malik reminded him that the “same laws that apply to people of other nationalities, apply to US nationals trying to obtain Pakistani visas”.

However, the interior minister said that no US citizen was denied a visa, adding that some just got delayed due to procedural loopholes.

Responding to a question regarding the recent terrorist intrusion into Pakistan from Afghanistan, Malik said the matter had already been taken up with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and measures were being taken to tackle the issue.

“We take it seriously. I hope no non-state actors in Afghanistan have the same agenda as those involved in the Mumbai attacks which nearly brought Pakistan and India to the brink of a war,” said Malik.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting, the US agreed to assist Pakistan in ensuring that Pakistan’s law enforcement officers are adequately equipped to combat the threat posed by terrorists.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • sadiq khalid
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:19PM

    america should work to ease the plight of non-muslims in pakistan.The present america government is completely ignoring the atrocities against athiests,agnostics and ex-muslims in pakistan.Why don’t they ask their counterparts in all their meetings that why is their still a death penalty for athiests in our country? why are we so adamant to keep on living in the dark ages,must we remain frozen in the times of the cavemen and stick to medieval laws??Recommend

  • ISLAM
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @sadiq khalid:
    if you are a muslim than here is a question for you… is America the Savior of the World?… you should have rather said,,, that there should be islamic law prevailing every sector and department of this country to bring about peace and justice equel for every person in this country… And if you are a non-muslim than again i would insist that you should study islam, islam offers a compelet solution to these problems, but unluckily we muslim are even ignorant of this fact…Recommend

  • arsalan malik
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:10PM

    @sadiq khalid:

    Atheists are the most persecuted people in pakistan today.No one is treated as horribly as atheists are in today’s pakistan.This keeping in your religion by force and threat of murder has to stop.Using coercion to keep someone muslim is barbaric,uncivilised and a violation of basic human rights in every sense.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:27PM

    @sadiq khalid:
    Time is coming when issue like these will be questioned by the world, about Pakistan !!
    Rest assure this is beginning to happen in Europe already, as to the treatment of minorities and their Institutional discrimination by the Govt of Pakistan.
    Its a very Sad & Confused country, hoovering on the brink of bankruptcy and demise! !!
    So much for Jinnah’s Dream !!!Recommend

  • Frank
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:34PM

    Pak-US talks: Main agenda saving lives

    Yeah, 35000 and still counting. Rehman Malik knows all about saving Pakistani lives, doesn’t he?Recommend

  • patel
    Jul 5, 2011 - 3:31PM

    @Hedgefunder:
    True, Indian army raped thousands of Sikh girls in operation shudi karan , massacred minorities in Punjab Kashmir and Gujarat. victims are still looking for justice, so sad for the people of Gandhi’s Hindustan. Hope all those people who were suffered in the hands of Indian Security Agencies will get justice soon, and the killers and rapers in Indian army and Govt will be brought to justice.Recommend

  • jamal
    Jul 5, 2011 - 3:37PM

    this is the best way forwardRecommend

  • lkhan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 4:46PM

    Why so much on atheism vis-a-vis the above article?? Beyond my comprehension. As to Frank’s opinion, Rehman Malik inherited a well established Taliban in Pakistan, not of his making, yet, his ministry under duress, with meager means is delivering better than expected. In the past three years, Islamabad’s security, collaboration between different government agencies, capacity building of the police force in effect is evident. One ought to give Rehman Malik his dues, considering the horrific internal security situation he inherited and I repeat, due to no fault of his.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:08PM

    please check the spelling it says OBAMA BIN LADEN :PRecommend

  • Madman
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:16PM

    Mr. Malik is the right man for this sojourn in the American compound.His English when spoken with his amiable fluency sounds like American English but when American listens to him rather carefully they conclude that it smells like Edgewarian English.In fact,it is Trinidadian creole English.No wonder Mr.Malik is so successful a Minister.He is my choice for the Prime Minister of Great Britain.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:24PM

    Sice when has it become priority for Pak Govt to discuss such things as saving lives???
    If that get their heads out their backsides they would have noticed that over 35,000 lives have been lost in past few years due their inaction !!!!
    Some Govt the people of Pakistan elected !!!!
    If this is the best you got in Pakistan, than there is no hope for the people, as these lot will soon disappear to their overseas homes to live in peace, while leaving the nation at the mercy of those Guests who are living in comfort in NW !!!!Recommend

  • Sidra
    Jul 5, 2011 - 6:29PM

    I’m sorry but is our Interior Minister wearing lipstick?Recommend

  • I am Pakistannii :D
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:06PM

    hahahaha, what’s up with Rehman Malik in this picture!?!? LOL Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 9:46PM

    The US is not going to stop the production of drugs in Afghanistan as it covers the costs of their military presence there, says Gen. Mahmut Gareev, a former commander during the USSR’s operations in Afghanistan.

    By the late 1990s, Afghanistan was supplying 70 per cent of the world’s opium. Then, in 2000, the Taleban government banned poppy cultivation and UN and US drug agencies determined that this led to an almost total – 96 per cent – reduction in acreage devoted to the crop in the 2001 growing season.
    According even to an official UN report, opium production in Afghanistan has risen dramatically since the downfall of the Taliban in 2001. UNODC data shows more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004-2007), than in any one year during Taliban rule. More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This is no accident.
    The crisis of drug addiction in Russia, now compounded by the post-2001 explosion of opium and hashish flooding the federation courtesy of US/NATO-occupied Afghanistan, was in no small measure inspiration for this lashing out. The last thing Russia expected when it opened its arms to America was to see the Taleban’s zero-tolerance policy towards opium give way to a huge explosion of opium production and smuggling, presided over by US/NATO forces.
    CIA and Contras cocaine trafficking in the US
    The involvement of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in cocaine trafficking in Central America during the Reagan Administration as part of the Contra war in Nicaragua has been the subject of several official and journalistic investigations since the mid-1980s.

    In November 1996 a Miami jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila, who was smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a Venezuelan warehouse owned by the CIA. In his trial defense, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA.

    CIA and Kuomintang (KMT) opium smuggling operations
    In order to provide covert funds for the Kuomintang (KMT) forces loyal to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, who were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao, the CIA helped the KMT smuggle opium from China and Burma to Bangkok, Thailand, by providing airplanes owned by one of their front businesses, Air America.

    The scale and scope of the US banking-drug cartel alliance surpasses any other economic activity of the US private banking system. According to US Justice Department records, one bank alone, Wachovia Bank (now owned by Wells Fargo), laundered $378.3 billion dollars between May 1, 2004 and May 31, 2007 (The Guardian, May 11, 2011). Every major bank in the US has served as an active financial partner of the murderous drug cartels ­ including Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan, as well as overseas banks operating out of New York, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as London.

    Welcome to the real world.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:56PM

    @Moise:
    You actually forgot to mention the Godfather of these Banks, Namely one BCCI !! Ring any bells ??
    Yes created by Pakistani, and managed by fellow Pakistanis, which incidently was at the time the largest money laundering operational bank in the world !! Do note this was in the days when an ordinary folks really did not even know such words as Money Laundering !!! They dealt with everyone from PLO to Cartels in Columbia to Panama, to giving out loans that did not exists !! They made Kabul Bank fallout look like kids stuff!!! All Pakistanis at top level in the organisation too !!
    Of course not their own money but Arab petro dollars !!!Recommend

  • Jehanzeb
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:20AM

    The more i see these white skinned people the more hatred i getRecommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:28AM

    Can anyone say “photo op”? When you can’t have substantive talks about corruption, support of terrorism, two faced dealings, terrorist sanctuaries, sheltering OBL, military and intelligence links to extremist groups, Mumbai massacre etc — your left with “photo op” meetings.Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Jul 6, 2011 - 10:41AM

    Would fighting IEDs include tipping off militants who take over schools and establish bomb-making factories in there?

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/186874/us-intelligence-to-pakistan-compromised-report/

    Sarcasm aside, I hope they are finally seeing the light and make some progress on this.Recommend

  • hassan
    Jul 6, 2011 - 10:50AM

    Whatever happened to the ‘No US Boots in Pakistan’ policy announced a few days back?Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 6, 2011 - 11:11AM

    @patel:
    @sadiq khalid:
    @Hedgefunder:
    They are inviting Americans just like they had invited OBL and the drones at the same time! My liberal friends, you are right. The US is already talking about the rights of Gays in Pakistan. They cannot openly talk about the rights or plight of minorities. This might give a tool to Mullahs to exploit.

    Most people must have heard about Friends for democratic Pakistan. These donors would only give their money if it is used in an open, democratic and secular civilian use. There is no going back the genie is out of the bottle.
    Mr. Patel, USA has already denied visa to Modi a criminal. Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jul 6, 2011 - 11:34AM

    Better late than never. Pakistan mounted operations on Taleban in 2009 employing tanks, heavy artillery and aerial bombardment which are rarely used in any counter-insurgency operations but only in conventional warfare, most suitable against its neighbour. Indian army so far has never used any of these three armaments against militants in North-East or Kashmir. After two years of un-successful compaign against the militants, the military realised its shortcomings, has now decided to seek US’s assistance in COINS which is a sensible decision. However, Pak military may or may not be aware that US military officers and personnel themselves are receiving specialised training in counter-insurgency operations from the Indian army after suffering reverses in Afghanistan. Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jul 6, 2011 - 12:15PM

    ET, you are not publishing my blogs where I have stated the facts which can be counter- checked and Pakistanis need to know the truth. Thanks and regards.Recommend

  • Jul 6, 2011 - 12:28PM

    I’m actually happy to see the request. I’ve never really known what to think of Malik. He’s seemed more misunderstood and an easy target for cheap shots. Though peculiar, he has at least seemed to have good intentions. I gained some respect for him after reading this and have a more positive view of him now than an undecided one. Even if the request is small, it’s big from my point of view. There was always something that annoyed me to no end about the way Pakistan has acted in regard to US support and offers. It’s that they always seem to be calling for assistance though they may not even see it themselves every time a tragedy happens. Demonize the US as you may seem fit but, there is something that often gets ignored. They are aware of such hostile criticism/hatred. Even though you can debate hidden intentions, there are some things that do fall under the category of attempting to give you a shoulder to lean on when one of your legs break. But, instead of taking the offer, they don’t just receive a simple “no.” They receive further hostility and accusations. There are simply just too many things for someone to rightfully judge them all correctly as bad intentioned. If you open your eyes some more, you will actually find a number of things they gain almost nothing from and are just acts of good will. Also, sincerely helping Pakistan is in their interest, anyways. There’s nobody fool enough to believe that not only attempting to create stability but also leave you better than you were are not requirements for their own objectives. It’s helping the enemy if they don’t. Too much time and too many lives would have been given to nothing.

    If it makes it easier for those with hostility, you guys could always just look at it like you’re “using” the US.

    The whole world is not evil. It’s statistically impossible for everyone to be against you at all times.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jul 6, 2011 - 2:12PM

    @Jehanzeb:
    Ok ! but keep that Hatred in check, as without these as you called “white skinned” People, you and your nation may not have survived, as its their Aid and money that is keeping you going!!!
    Allah has abandon you just like your so called Arab brothers!!!
    I don’t see them running up to you and offering anything at all at present!!!
    So don’t knock the very people who are generous enough to give you their Largesse, when your politicians go to visit them with their Begging Bowls !!!!!!Recommend

  • Tariq
    Jul 7, 2011 - 9:19AM

    Pakistan as usual is saying the right things just to make a buck, what a shameRecommend

  • Jul 7, 2011 - 9:35AM

    @Hedgefunder:
    Yes I forgot the BCCI but I wouldn’t call it Godfather of all banks, it was the only one that get caught.

    Godfather of all banks is BIS, Bank of International Settlement which bankrolled the Nazis and Hitler’s New World Order. This bank still operates today while VWs and Siemens of the world have to pay blood money no charges were made on the BIS.

    All major bank launder money. How do Somalian pirates get paid? How do arm suppliers get paid? How do separatist movements get funding? Bank only get caught when it is time for it to die or merged.

    Arab petro dollars go to American banks and they earn usury on it. It was the agreement by the monarchy to save itself in time of crisis. That is why you have American bases in Kingdom. Recommend

  • Jul 7, 2011 - 9:52AM

    @Jehanzeb:
    I dont think melanin has anything to do with evil and fassad.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jul 7, 2011 - 12:12PM

    There is no need for any type of training in our country. We only need “Rehabilitation and Correction Centers” for our all types of leadership. USA and EU must come forward because they are expert in these fields. If this is done then the rest will follow automatically. Recommend

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