The Pakistani leadership on Saturday reiterated their call for an enduring partnership with the United States and forging a relationship beyond cooperation on the war against terrorism, with specific terms of engagement.
The American senator and former presidential candidate John McCain met President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani separately to discuss Pak-US relations, among other regional issues. McCain’s visit comes among a flurry of diplomatic efforts to put strained Pak-US ties back on track.
(Read: Repairing relations with the United States)
In his meeting with McCain, Prime Minister Gilani said he looked forward to a deeper level of engagement with the US in all areas of bilateral relations, including energy and economic cooperation.
Gilani also appreciated Senator McCain’s continued support to Pakistan in the US Congress and said he would welcome a visit by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
His sentiments were echoed by President Zardari whom McCain met later at the Presidency.
“We need to build a framework for an enduring strategic partnership,” said Zardari. “The president reiterated his call for specifying clear and unambiguous terms of engagement in the war against militants, in order to avoid adverse impacts on bilateral relations,” said presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar after the meeting.
Zardari told the visiting senator that the war against terrorism is a long-drawn war and it is important that the root causes of militancy are also addressed, Babar said.
The president called for a multi-pronged strategy encompassing socio-economic, political and educational measures besides judicious use of power to address the challenge of militancy and militant mindset, he added.
“With direct and indirect economic losses amounting to $68 billion and 35000 martyrs behind us, we were determined to pursue this war till its logical conclusion,” Babar quoted the president as saying. The president also raised the issue of recent moves in the Congress to reduce civilian assistance to Pakistan.
The issue of delays in reconstruction opportunity zones (ROZ) legislation and Enterprise Fund were also discussed during the meeting.
Senator McCain acknowledged that relations between the US and Pakistan had seen difficult times in the past but said that Washington considers Islamabad as an important country. It is not in the US national interest to abandon Pakistan once again, he said.
He assured the leadership of America’s continued support to the people of Pakistan in their endeavour to secure a stable and prosperous future.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.
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@Khurram: "If war had lasted a little more longer chances were, we could have easily reached Delhi." Now then here is a nice solution: Chinese do the dance on the Himalayan peaks. This ties down many, many divisions of the fourth largest army of the world. Pakistan takes a cake walk to Red Fort and hoists the Pakistani flag on it. And the circle is complete. As simple as that! Sorry, missed one crucial detail. Baniyas along the Grand Trunk Road shower the lazily walking Pakistani soldiers with rose petals and thank them for bringing back the hugely beneficial Islamic rule to their poverty-stricken country which they had so sorely missed all these years! How about that! All this set in motion by a Chinese Bangra on those icy peaks! Not bad, eh!
@Khurram. Could be. Or maybe my Pak friends felt close enough to me to confide. Either way I'm not belittling them or your country. My friends are good guys and care about Pakistan. But I guess in a way that is a little strange to me.
@ Sandeep: "Why are you people so negative? I have noticed this among my Pak friends here in US also, there is this terribly negative perception of their homeland.
Its your Independence day, try to be positive for at least one day, OK?"
I think you are confusing Constructive Criticism with Being Negative. No sir, rest assured this certainly is not the case with us. We are Proud Pakistanis where ever we make our home on this globe.
@Faraz: There are a lot of things Pakistan can offer. Textiles, sporting goods, agricultural products, mineral products etc.
Why are you people so negative? I have noticed this among my Pak friends here in US also, there is this terribly negative perception of their homeland.
Its your Independence day, try to be positive for at least one day, OK?
@BruteForce: Think about it. If there was nothing there to take..why would US pursue to be around us.there lies the answer.
@Gul Khan: You can "play" all you want. What matters is, who wins in the end. Doesn't look like your boys are winning.
@G.Din "It was jumping up and down on the Himalayan peaks, shouting that India had appropriated a flock of sheep or cattle which had strayed into India. Sir "jumping up and down from those peaks" was the most timely help our closest friend and ally could extend, it tied down many Divisions Of Indian Army which otherwise could have used in the Western Sector, where our Brave Armed Forces had made significant advances and took control of a big chunk of Indian territory. If war had lasted a little more longer chances were, we could have easily reached Delhi.
@Khurram: "...the Damned Indians were too fast and completed the task of cooking our goose a way before the arrival of much needed help(The Seventh Fleet USN, Task Force)." Arrival of Seventh Fleet was to placate Pakistanis and nothing more. They probably did not tell you in your history books that India had signed a "Friendship Agreement" with the Soviets just before Indian Army started the Bangla Desh operations to hedge its bets against Nixon-Kissinger duo. So, when Nixon ordered Seventh Fleet into Bay of Bengal, the Soviet Fleet that was shadowing it in the Far East followed it into Bay of Bengal. So, how do you think Seventh fleet would have helped you? When asked about it, the US said that it was ordered to East Pakistan to evacuate American personnel which was, of course, a ruse; it never reached Bangla Desh and turned its tail when confronted by the puny Indian Navy, to avoid an international incident. Also, the public opinion in US was getting increasingly outraged by Nixon's handling of India then. Talking about help during that Pakistan's existential crisis, where was the "deeper-than-the-ocean and higher-than-Himalayas" friend, China. It was jumping up and down on the Himalayan peaks, shouting that India had appropriated a flock of sheep or cattle which had strayed into India. The next day, the opposition party of India herded a flock of sheep to the Chinese Embassy in Delhi. It left a lot of red faces in Chanakyapuri on that day!
Many of the commentators say what does Pakistan have to offer the US, other than playing the terrorist card while double dealing. Sooner or later subterfuge gets exposed. Again what can Pakistan offer? Pakistan needs to reinvent itself, to grow it's trade, it's industry, it's creativity much like Japan did after the war and like China and India now are doing. Pakistan's greatest strength is it's diversity of people. In that diversity it's much like the US. Build on that. Too much is spent on war making tools and not enough on infrastructure, health and education. The terrorist find fertile ground and safe haven in the Tribal areas because Pakistan's government does so little and allows so much corruption. The tribal areas and Swat need to work, it's men and women need to be free, to be free to obtain education, to have decent schools and hospitals to have a trusted judicial system that's free of governments heavy hand, and with those changes the terrorists will fade away and Pakistan can become a leader in the region not because it has a big Army but because it has an educated and creative population , a can do spirit. An equal standing in the family of nations and an example of Muslim support of freedom and diversity.
Pakistan has lost more innocent lives for America's war OF terror than any other nation on earth.
Forget about deeper cooperation with U.S. They only cooperate with dictators and absolute monarchs who wants to keep their people as slaves. Look at their cooperation with all the Middle Eastern despots and African dictators.
Try to, if you can, be like China, who the Americans hate but have no choice but to deal with them because of what the Chinese produce. If the Americans won't deal with the Chinese the Americans will become uncompetetive in the world. So try to become indispensable. But to do that you have to get a minimum level of education, discard your bloated military budget, get rid of terrorists amongst yourself, and develop a sustainable system of governance. That's probably too tall an order, so then you will have to beg for the American cooperation (meaning their charity.)
I don't think Pakistani cloth is low grade - I find it to be high grade. At least as far as what gets imported into the United States from Pakistan. I would rank the Pakistani cloth (cotton products in particular) to be superior to material from elsewhere (China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam). During the Pakistani floods, I purchased athletic material (sweat pants, wrist gloves, sweater) made in Pakistan as I believe trade is better than aid and I am very satisfied with the quality of the material.
@ Sultan Ahmed "Are you talking about sustainable friendship? History is witness,united States is not dependable friend. Dismemberment of our eastern wing is a black chapter of our history and the role of……………………………………….."
Please do not blame America for the dismemberment of Eastern Wing. This job was actually done by Us and the Indians in a strange partnership. President Nixon wanted to help us but the Damned Indians were too fast and completed the task of cooking our goose a way before the arrival of much needed help(The Seventh Fleet USN, Task Force).But there was one blessing in disguise the Indians had to feed atleast ninety thousand plus mouths for at least a couple of years which was, some way a win win for us.
@Tauseef: Hahahaha Good words Tauseef, Actually PM Galani Doesn't know any thing about policies and Statements therefore he always says "Jahan tak ------------ ka tal-lak he to ye baat mere elim me nahi he"
Can i ask a very simple question from the PM, as to on what grounds? Have you ever delivered anything or acted as agreed with USA??? So what God given right do you actually want this partnership, when majority of your population is anti US, due to the propaganda delivered to them by Govt or the Army!!! The question really should be, is why should US Taxpayers keep supporting you at all ! In regards to any form of the Partnership, well there is nothing in common nor the Synergy or the desire from people involved too!!! Another Dream from the PPP !!! Just an illusion !!
Are you talking about sustainable friendship? History is witness,united States is not dependable friend. Dismemberment of our eastern wing is a black chapter of our history and the role of...............................................
@Bruteforce @Babloo @Vicram Singh
John McCain has come to Pakistan with requests and still having troubles to get their requests approved from Pakistan. Pakistan knows how to play with Americans.
Whatelse do we produce besides some low grade cloth?
I have a feeling that the statement is just a filler meant for public consumption. No substance as far as I can see. Maybe the GHQ told him to speak on these lines. Little credibility for the Government.
Ah, so China refused nikaah proposal !!
Wwhat has Pak to offer ? Any positives ?
I didn't know Pakistan can offer anything beyond fighting Terrorists and keeping a gun to its own head.
What can Pakistan possibly offer the US?
Lets see.. Cheap electronic goods? Oh wait, China, South Korea and other Countries do that.. Software and Services? No wait, India is doing that. Oil? No, Pakistan doesn't have any.
OK, Mr.Gilani, do please tell us what Pakistan can offer to the World.
What is Pakistan's role in the cooperation in WOT: Controlling jihadis and dismantling terrorist infrastructure. The role of US is doling out dollars Beyond terrorism, what does Pakistan bring to the table for cooperation ???? Nothing. Therefore this is another terminology for begging
The US - Pakistan so called friendship is against common sense if Pakistan maintains this level of troubled relationship in its neighborhood. It is in fat, playing into US hands. The first lesson of life is to keep good interdependent relations within your neigborhood.
The biggest falw in Pakistan's foreign policy is that the rulers continue to seek solace in relations from an imperialst power far away while continuing to maintain relations of belliegernce in the neighborhood.