Repairing ties: US president telephones President Zardari

Obama appreciated efforts of Pakistan in war on terror and assured Zardari of continued support.


Afp June 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Pakistan and the United States agreed to take steps to repair ties as President Barack Obama telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday, according to a statement released by presidency in Islamabad.


Relations between the two countries, wary at the best of times, deteriorated sharply after US special forces found and killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2.

“The two leaders agreed to take appropriate steps to repair the ties between the two countries on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit,” the Pakistani presidency said in a statement.

The Bin Laden raid humiliated the Pakistani military and invited allegations of incompetence and complicity, while Washington has increasingly demanded that Islamabad take decisive action against terror networks in the tribal badlands on the border with Afghanistan.

“President Obama appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against militancy,” the statement said. “President Zardari said that the fight against extremism was Pakistan’s own and it had to fight it to the finish in its own national interest”.

The leaders also “agreed to have regular contacts and interaction at appropriate levels for the resolution of issues”.

Pakistan has come under mounting American pressure to open a ground offensive in North Waziristan, considered the premier bastion of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants and a target for most of the US drone strikes.

But Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik, the Peshawar corps commander, who supervises all operations in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, recently said the army would undertake an operation when it wanted to.

Many analysts see the drone strikes as compounding pressure on Pakistan to take action.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd,  2011.


COMMENTS (12)

Michael Hendricks | 10 years ago | Reply To Mr. G A Khan- Contrary to what you may think, the Iranian Government is not considered an ally of the United States. In fact, while the American people have no ill will toward the Iranian population, we do consider Iran to be a destabilizing factor in the Middle East region, and not just for American interests, but for the interests of the populations in the Middle East, including their own, in Iran. I think one of the greatest reasons for the conflicts in Afghanistan and, partly into Pakistan, is based largely on a misunderstanding of cultures. A great majority of Americans do not understand that the tribes of Pakistan, not borders, dictate alliances. I believe that our current president does not understand that the tribal bonds of the region go back for centuries. It is my own opinion that we Americans tend to think a bit too short sighted, instead of looking years ahead, or taking the time to understand a people or culture we are not familiar with. Instead of trying to force our ways of doing things, sometimes we need to sit back quietly and learn from those that have been living their way of life, happily for hundreds of years. Through reading, I have come to understand this more and more. I would love to see the path taken by an American climber, Greg Mortinson, the subject of the book, Three Cups of Tea, become more popular than conflict. He followed a path taken earlier by Sir Edmund Hillary, and that was to help build schools in Pakistan's poorer villages. Education is what makes a country strong...listening to the ways of others makes us wise.
Cautious | 10 years ago | Reply Obama can speak on behalf of America and it's military --- unfortunately it seems that Zardari can only speak on behalf of Zardari.
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