Pakistan welcomes US initiative for peace in Afghanistan

Published: October 13, 2011

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (L) gestures to US special representative Marc Grossman after a photo opportunity at the foreign ministry in Islamabad October 13. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar (L) gestures to US special representative Marc Grossman after a photo opportunity at the foreign ministry in Islamabad October 13. PHOTO: REUTERS Hina Rabbani Khar says that Pakistan's relationship with the United States is going to be a "continuous process".  PHOTO: PID/FILE International 
conference on Afghanistan to be discussed as well. International 
conference on Afghanistan to be discussed as well. International 
conference on Afghanistan to be discussed as well.
ISLAMABAD: 

US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman on Thursday said that Pakistan and the US have a “meeting of the minds” on securing a stable Afghanistan.

In a joint press conference with Grossman, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that Pakistan’s relationship with the United States is going to be a “continuous process”.

“We should be able to share notes and understand each other’s perspectives,” she added.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani welcomed America’s initiatives for peace in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the prime minister said the world should recognise Pakistan’s efforts in the war against terror.

He said intelligence agencies were reviewing the evidence provided by the Afghan government regarding the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Gilani also voiced support for the reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan but stressed that issues cannot be solved without involving Pakistan.

He also reiterated Pakistan’s stance on drone strikes in the tribal areas.

Grossman also met Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.

Marc Grossman said that victory in the war against terror in Afghanistan is not possible without Pakistan’s input.

We tried to think about the future and way to keep our strategic dialogue going,” Grossman told a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

“We also talked about how can we continue in a systematic way to identify the interests that we share with Pakistan, and there are many, and then find ways to act on them jointly,” he added.

Grossman said that besides discussing bilateral relations with the foreign minister, the peace conferences of Istanbul and Bonn were also discussed so that Pakistan should be included in the peace process and it is an important country to play due role for the peace and security in the region.

He said success of these two conferences would be helpful in ensuring peace and security, not only in Afghanistan but would also promote peace in the region and the world.

Grossman said he also visited Central Asian States, Kabul,China and India before coming to Pakistan and brought a message of hope and support from the regional countries for peace and security in the region.

On Tuesday, acknowledging for the first time that the US is waging a war in Pakistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described Washington’s relationship with Islamabad as “complicated”.

“And admittedly, there are a lot of reasons for that. We are fighting a war in their country,” Panetta said.

He said the two countries sharply disagreed over “relations they maintain with some of the militant groups in that country,” a reference to Washington’s demand that Islamabad crack down on the Haqqani network.

Updated from print edition (below)

Haqqanis to be high on US envoy’s agenda in key meetings

Pakistan and the United States will seek to narrow down their differences on the Haqqani network when a senior US diplomat meets the country’s civil and military leadership today (Thursday) in Islamabad.

US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman is arriving on a day-long trip to meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as other senior officials.

Following last month’s daring assault on the US Embassy in Kabul, Washington has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to eliminate the group’s ‘safe havens’ from North Waziristan tribal region.

Pakistan has resisted the US demand, but expressed its readiness to address its concerns on the Haqqani network. It is widely believed that Pakistan’s reluctance to go after the group is attributed to the fact that the Haqqanis have a pivotal role in the future political dispensation of Afghanistan.

“There are regional complexities which we are aware of and are trying to address,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua at her last news briefing when asked about tensions between Pakistan and the US on the Haqqanis.

Grossman, who is arriving from New Delhi, will also discuss the forthcoming international conference on Afghanistan in Istanbul on November 2 and in Bonn on December 5.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Ahmer Ali
    Oct 13, 2011 - 9:50AM

    Assalam-o-Allaiklum Warahmatullah.One thing USA and NATO having most modern war equipments and technologies have to do instead of wasting time,money and lives in Afghanistan and on conferences on Afghanistan issue in the differrent countries of the world,id est,start direct peace negotiations with handful Taliban/Alqaeda/Haqqani freedom fighters having limited resources of war and request them to give USA and NATO troops peaceful way for withdrawal and on one side USA accuses Pakistan of having links with Haqqani/Taliban/Alqaeda freedom fighters and on other hand US’ officials meet Taliban/Haqqani/Alqaeda freedom fighters furtively and invite them for peace talks.What a double and hypocritical policy of US’ leaders!If now the modern and civilized world thinks that US’ and NATO’s troops are in winning position in Afghanistan then modern and civilized world needs a special psychiatrist for mental treatment and only war which is US’ and NATO’s troops are winning,id est,media war and are only fooling and deceiving the US’ nation.US’ leaders have to pay their all attentions on USA’s sinking economical conditions,increasing joblessness and protect US’ people within USA.

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  • Nasir
    Oct 13, 2011 - 12:21PM

    @Ahmer Ali:
    “US’ leaders have to pay their all attentions on USA’s sinking economical conditions,increasing joblessness and protect US’ people within USA.”
    I am agree with you, both Pak/ US are busy to look into others’ affairs without looking into their own home.

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  • ashok sai
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:47PM

    And the games goes on…..

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  • H. Ali
    Oct 13, 2011 - 1:51PM

    @Ahmer Ali
    Why only in the Home. One has to kill wild and dangerous animals outside the home.
    BTW, if US don’t eradicate them now they will keep growing like disease of bacteria, whatever the situation of economy is. Once a campaign started it must be completed. US should also win war psychologically.

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  • Ajay
    Oct 13, 2011 - 2:18PM

    There is a difference in what Pakistanis and Americans expect from the Haqqanis. Pakistanis want status quo to continue as it was when Taliban were in power with Sharia law, Afghanistan was impoverished and utterly dependent on Pakistan and too weak to go against Pakistan. US wants Haqqanis to be part of power play but discard notions of Sharia law, lack of freedom for women or education or opprotunities for work, belief in democracy and equal representation of other ethnic groups in power structure and to discard the position that American forces shoudl leave right away.

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  • Sad but true
    Oct 13, 2011 - 3:14PM

    USA has now realised Pakistan’s weakness – cut all aid and they will fall on your feet. Wonderful.

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  • buttjee
    Oct 13, 2011 - 4:19PM

    US had itself imposed war on Afghanistan in which thousands of innocent lives have been lost. It sounds ridiculous when they talk about peace and stability in this region which has been devastated by the Americans themselves. A time will come when the American people themselves will demand the trial of their military and political leaders for crimes against humanity.

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  • Bangladeshi
    Oct 13, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @Ajay:
    Why go in the trouble of saying something you absolutely know nothing about. Do you even know what sharia means or just copy paste FOX news. If you cry for democracy so much then you should respect the decision of the Afgan people. If the afgans want sharia law who is India & US to say no. US has no business in afganistan and don’t forget afgans are deeply religious and don’t want bollywood & hollywood dirt in their country. It is utterly ignorant & naive to think that 30 million people will bow down to the terms of any superpower , It never happened & never will.Recommend

  • Asad
    Oct 13, 2011 - 8:35PM

    @Bangladeshi brother

    Absolutely true words!!

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  • Sad but true
    Oct 13, 2011 - 8:36PM

    @Bangladeshi: Remember how Bangladesh was formed? Did India not give you your Independance? Is it not that Bollywood and Hollywooddirt is being played? So why talk of AF when you are already plied with trouble.Recommend

  • Thevoiceofreason
    Oct 13, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Sad but true, India did not give anyone anything. Bangladesh and Pakistan weren’t a part of India in 1947. They war a part of the British Raj. We gained our freedom from them and not from the Indians. Before the British Raj, we were ruled by locals kings, under the authority of Mughal emperors. Even though the area I am from resisted the Mughals, I can accept their authority much more willingly that that of an “India rule.” Go back in history and find me a time when Hindu emperors controlled what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh. Now, look at how long ago that was? Saying that the Indian sub-continent should be one country is like saying Europe should be one country (because they are white and christian) or that east Asia should be one country (because they are light tanned). After all, we know how well the Russians and Germans get along. And the Japanese and Koreans and Chinese, you might ask? Well they are just pals.

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  • buttjee
    Oct 13, 2011 - 11:30PM

    @Bangladeshi:

    Your comment is based on logic and wisdom but an Indian will never be able to reconcile even if he is otherwise convinced.

    Recommend

  • Freeman
    Oct 14, 2011 - 7:12AM

    @Sad but true: Why USA is now falling on Pakistan’s feet? They know without Pakistan they can not widthdraw their arm forces from Afghanistan. They need desperately Pakistan’s help.

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  • buttjee
    Oct 14, 2011 - 12:58PM

    @Sad but true:
    Pakistan is much better off without US aid. They can keep their dollars to themselves, after all they have to pay back their loans obtained from China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    Recommend

  • Sad but true
    Oct 14, 2011 - 3:06PM

    @Freeman: That is what you think. It is just the opposite.

    @buttjee: It is true that most Pakistani’s do not want aid. But is your Govt. listening to its people?. If it does, it will save USA billions. Why not arrange a protest group against aid and bring it on the streets?

    Recommend

  • Human
    Oct 14, 2011 - 10:56PM

    A guy was washing his cloth everyday with the expectations that it will trun white, but nothing happend and he cried, water has no effects. It is not just ideas of greener pasture that deliver the best in the land of miseries, where one super power lost its own muscles, and some others are testing their luck. The land of deserts is now center of attention for all countries. All credit goes to Afghans.Recommend

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