Clinton hints at strains in US ties with Pakistan

Published: March 28, 2011
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described relations between the US and Pakistan as “very challenging.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described relations between the US and Pakistan as “very challenging.”


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described relations between the US and Pakistan on Sunday as “very challenging,” a tacit admission of strained ties between the key allies.

Speaking after Pakistan boycotted a trilateral meeting on Afghanistan in Brussels to protest a drone attack that killed 39 people, Clinton said Islamabad was caught between wanting to help and dealing with its own extremist threat.

“It’s a very challenging relationship, because there have been some problems,” she said in an interview with the American television network ABC’s program “This Week.”

“But I think, on the other hand, we’ve also developed good lines of communication.”

Clinton noted the cooperation of the Pakistani government in securing the release of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor accused in a double murder.

“We were very appreciative of getting our diplomat out of Pakistan, and that took cooperation by the government of Pakistan,” she said.

Washington always insisted that Davis had diplomatic immunity from prosecution. He was released earlier this month after a payment of $2 million, but Clinton has denied the US paid any compensation.

Sources in Peshawar said 12 Taliban militants were among those killed in the March 17 drone strike on a militant hideout in North Waziristan.

But the US ambassador was called in to meet with foreign secretary Salman Bashir who conveyed “a strong protest” over the attack and demanded an apology and explanation from the US.

“It was evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited. Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Mar 28, 2011 - 11:24AM

    @Clinton hints at strains in US ties with Pakistan

    I am sure that Ms Clinton has made her way into US history as the 1st Secretary of State, with the deficiency of most required attribute………..trouble shooting. Her comment on Davis is the biggest folly I have ever witnessed from a statesman at such a post. Immunity to him was shown the door after nearly 2 month of arrest and processing of case…………she would shy from admitting US paid the money to the relatives for the patch up……….but what abt those US citizenship and Visas media has talked for so long???????is it also in the domain of Pakistan’s courts?????
    I believe her theme for this argument should have been that US is stuck between its ego and the reality on ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan……………Even a layman sitting in Navada desert knows that US policy has failed miserably in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the think tanks in Pentagon and White House still have a plan in pipeline……………amazing!! Recommend

  • Muhammad Tariq Ghouri
    Mar 28, 2011 - 2:05PM

    Number of question rising, who paid this amount of $2 million, is this Tax payer’s money? That’s mean any American can murder our innocent people, and our Government will compensate. Great!!!!!Recommend

  • Ibrahim Aleem
    Mar 28, 2011 - 2:32PM

    I fail to understand exactly what it is about the drone attacks that cannot be considered “terrorism”. Ms. Clinton seems to be implying that it is wrong of Pakistan to protest against a drone attack that killed 39 people. The estimated number of people who have become target to these attacks is 2000+. And it is no secret that the majority of those are innocent civilians.

    Daniel L. Byman of the Brookings Institution suggests that drone strikes may kill “10 or so civilians” for every ONE militant killed, which would represent a civilian to combatant casualty ratio of 10:1. Simply tossing the matter of civilian deaths aside by calling it “collateral damage” is inhuman, to say the least. How does Ms. Clinton define “terrorism”? Are the drone attacks not a violation of human rights?Recommend

  • Cautious
    Mar 28, 2011 - 3:11PM

    Clinton probably has to bite her tongue whenever the subject of Pakistan comes up. No doubt she views Pakistan for what it is – a xenophobic Muslim country run by two faced chronically corrupt politicians. Recommend

  • Mar 28, 2011 - 4:36PM

    @Muhammad Tariq Ghouri:
    Probably this money was either paid by US directly (without disclosing their weak wicket) or might have been paid by any Arab country to please US. Pakistan might have only brokered with the decased family through Shahbaz Sharif who is washing hands now from this deal. Without Punjab Government consent, this deal was not possible. Judiciary (so called independent) is also at the help of Punjab Government. Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 28, 2011 - 6:38PM

    As A Secretary Of State for the USA, Clinton should not even be mentening such words as strain!!!!
    They knew that this was worse than having a relationship with someone who is adulterous or philanderer, when they entered in special relationship with pakistan. So why complain ?
    If they want to solve the problem cut off all the aid and assistance and walk away from afganistan and pakistan and leave them to their own devices.
    This will save much needed taxpayers money for other areas domestically and within couple of years the arabs will ruke these two countries via violence or wahabism and take them back to 6th century.
    In regards to their Nuclear arsenal ! if one deploys then one faces the return payback too, so all in all it would be better outcome one time only!!! History.Recommend

  • umar khaliq
    Mar 28, 2011 - 11:29PM

    us behavior is hypocritical on this incident on one side she talks about democracy and on the other she discourage people of Pakistan to protest against its double murderer and put the poor government in front of angry public.who can expect the democracy to nurture in such an enviornment ?Recommend

  • John
    Mar 28, 2011 - 11:41PM

    Unlike in Pakistan, lying to public by the elected official is a crime in US. If sec. Clinton says that US office did not pay the blood money, then she is telling the truth. With regard to US residency, I do not think that the statements/ rumors in PAK are correct. The US press is sniffing around this. Punjab gov says that they are in Rawalpindi and other PAK press report says that they are in UAE.

    In case of immunity, US president says RD has diplomatic immunity. PAK gov has yet to concur or deny this, even to her own Courts.

    Of all the US Sec. State of last few administrations, Mrs. Clinton is the non nonsense lady. PAK people do not know how far she went to defend PAK. She is not some one PAK can mess with. Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 6:47AM

    “This will save much needed taxpayers money for other areas domestically and within couple of years the arabs will ruke these two countries via violence or wahabism and take them back to 6th century.”

    So what was the point of invading Afghanistan then?

    Your scenario of the future is in fact far worse than the situation that existed in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001.Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2011 - 7:55AM

    @Cautious: Good shot!!! Bulls-eye. You hit the nail on the head. Very nice.

    Our ties with the USA have always been one-sided and full of humiliation and heart burn. But our servile politicians dont see their servitude and that’s what bugs all educated in Pakistan. Our politicians dont want to use their heads, hands and legs. As plain and simple as that. Salams for 2011.Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Mar 29, 2011 - 11:40AM

    @Agnostic Muslim:
    Its really very simple !! when someone enters your house and starts killing your family members what will you do????
    Americans only went in to afghanistan after 9/11, as the person responsible for it was a guest of honour in that country.
    The afghans refused to hand him over, so what did you expect americans to do except invaded and try to catch him!!!Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis.
    Apr 22, 2011 - 4:23PM

    Pakistan Zindabad!
    Conspirators can never get through, Insha ALLAH!!! Recommend

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