‘The worst is over’ for Pakistan and US

Published: September 30, 2011
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The two countries had gone the extra
mile this week to defuse tension.

The two countries had gone the extra mile this week to defuse tension.

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan and the US appear to have pulled back from the brink after behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts made “substantive progress” towards the normalisation of ties. A US diplomat went as far as to say that “the worst is over.”

The diplomat, speaking to The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, said the two countries had gone the extra mile this week to defuse tension. He would not share further details but did say the two countries agreed unequivocally on one central point: that a breakdown in their relationship “is not an option.”

The progress was apparently made during US Ambassador Cameron Munter’s talks with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and President Asif Zardari. However, it is unclear if the two countries have been able to overcome their differences on the Haqqani network, which has become the core irritant in the relationship.

Another US official said a lot will depend on the outcome of the All Parties Conference, convened by the prime minister to discuss the ongoing row between the two countries.

A Pakistani official also confirmed that the US and Pakistan were eager to put recent tensions behind them. “The two sides have realised that they have to maintain this relationship and at the same time agreed that the war of words must be ceased,” the official added.

In a positive sign, two US officials are expected to travel to Islamabad in October. US special representative for the region Marc Grossman, who in an interview on Wednesday with Express News struck a reconciliatory note, is due to visit the capital next week.

(Read: Exclusive interview – US will not end relationship with Pakistan)

The incoming US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey, who assumes charge today (Friday), will also visit Pakistan in an attempt to repair ties with the Pakistani military leadership.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Pundit
    Sep 30, 2011 - 10:25AM

    “‘The worst is over’ for Pakistan and US”

    Till the next worst…….

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  • Beta
    Sep 30, 2011 - 12:02PM

    So, the unilateral raids seems to be postponed.

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  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Sep 30, 2011 - 12:51PM

    Two faced American strategy to make Pakistan complacent & attack when we are not expecting it!!

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  • Digvijay Singh
    Sep 30, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Pakistan and the US appear to have pulled back from the brink after behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts made “substantive progress” towards the normalisation of ties. A US diplomat went as far as to say that “the worst is over.”

    This is a tumultuous victory for Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts. Miss Hina Rabbani Khar’s strong and macho rebuttal of the disgraceful insinuations by Admiral Mullen has precipitated this embarrassment and humiliation for the so-called superpower America. Surely, no one will ever doubt after this, that the ISI and Pakistan military is playing a very constructive role in our region to further the cause of global peace and solidarity. In this grand scheme of things, the international community must accept a legitimate role for the elderly Haqqani politicians who have charted out a visionary path for reduction of substance abuse and roadside robbery, banning of usury and pilferage, and for meaningful empowerment of women through curtailment of their forced participation in education and employment sector. The world should be sympathetic to these long term goals and inculcate a sense of respect for cultural distinctions.

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  • Good
    Sep 30, 2011 - 4:20PM

    @ Digvijay Singh – Well said, wish there were more people like you to portray things in their correct & positive light, instead of bashing us (which is easier) than appreciate us – despite all our efforts in the past decade…

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  • Striver
    Sep 30, 2011 - 5:08PM

    If this report is correct then it is prudent of Pakistan to withstand the pressure and ensure it retains a strongfold in Afghanistan to ensure the shared borders are safe for Pakistan as well as Afghanistan and the region. Any other outcome will lead to un-ending instability. No foreign forces=stability.

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  • AnisAqeel
    Sep 30, 2011 - 5:30PM

    The worst is not over, it may have started now. As Pakistan admittedly and world powers with proof have demanded to be prepared for consequences now NATO, USA and other powers will ask for sanctions and may ask Pakistan to be declared as safe haven protectors of terrorists. Be careful and God bless Pakistan.

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  • Political Analyst
    Sep 30, 2011 - 6:57PM

    US is buying time before it comes out with a permanent solution … Pakistan should be vary of the sinister intent ….

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  • Dual
    Sep 30, 2011 - 8:57PM

    United States needs to understand the history and nature of the people of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is not South Korea, Japan or Germany. You can’t have permanent bases in Afghanistan. People here will resist and bleed United State’s economy to death. We are already $15 Trillion short. It is time for the US to push for the peace and complete withdrawl of the military forces from the region. Putting Haqanis in terrorist list will not help that is if you dont want peace with the guys who are fighting then who do you want peace with? I say pack your bags, rebuild the economy or face the worst ever depression in coming years…

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  • Ajmal Khattak
    Sep 30, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Pakistan is a developing country and it makes a different If USA stops aid or they do not allow us to export our trade etc, but it will be a big thing for us that we try to stand without any support. As if m not wrong we have loss near about 65billion dollars in war against terror & total aid to Pakistan for military was not even half of it, 35000 people died & around 5000 to 7000 army people were killed in last 10years. As we all know that this war against terror was a great plan for occupying land & control china. Pakistan was never a target, if we do as American says but for our actual and larger interest we should not say yes boss to them infact we should stand with people who are in majority in Afghanistan and they want foreigners out of their country. Now that USA is facing bad time in Afghanistan & they have lost their war against terror, they want to put blame on some once head and run back home. In 80s n 90s Afghan n Pakistan image was like a lions who are fighting with Russia the super power see “Rambo” movie, but now when history is repeating itself they are blaming Pakistan. In reality Pakistan cannot fight with NATO and USA at a time, neither we can exist without USA but we need a rational approach to bridge this trust deficit. Government is doing a commendable job, it has lowered down it tone and same with USA but now both the countries need to understand each others concerns. Convening APC was a very right and positive step taken by the Government at this point. We should trust in Government for it will not take any step against our national interests.

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  • Freeman
    Sep 30, 2011 - 9:48PM

    @AnisAqeel: They will never do that. Still more than 60% supplies are going through pakistan for ISAF AND American army.

    If America put sanctions on Paksitan then they will not get any supply from Pakistan. They are trying new supply routs but remember those routs are more than 3 times expensive than Pakistan supply routs.

    If they switch completely new supply routs then this mean they will end up paying 3 times more money which America at this time can’t afford. They need money at home to imrove their own poor people life.

    They tried to put pressure on Pakistan as usual they have been doing in last 10 years but this time our Army and Government as well as people of Pakistan did not listen and told them to stop accusing us to save your back.

    American people are now asking their own government and Army that you have spent Trillions of Dollars in last 10 years but still you failed to show any results. American Army and CIA wanted to SAVE THEMSELVES from these questions and balme Pakistan which is easier option to get away from American people pressure.

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  • Ram Bharose Singh
    Sep 30, 2011 - 10:15PM

    The worst has not begun yet

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  • Sep 30, 2011 - 10:40PM

    We applaud all efforts by both governments to overcome all differences for the sake of continuing their mission against terrorism. The war on terror has brought its fair share of challenges and obstacles, but at the same time, our combined efforts have produced great results. Together we have been to kill and capture some of the top Taliban leaders. The nation of Afghanistan, once crumbling under the dictatorship of Taliban, is now beginning to prosper with the help of the US and NATO forces. On the other hand, Pakistan Army’s offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley forced them to drop their weapons and run for cover. The grip around their neck continues to tighten, and a break in our partnership could only allow these terrorists the freedom to continue their dark mission. The bottom line is that we’ve come too far and made too many sacrifices for us to part ways and let these terrorists off the hook.

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  • Gen Pasha (retd)
    Oct 1, 2011 - 1:49AM

    @Iftikhar-ur-Rehman: what a silly comment ! – they can come into a military town like Abbotabad and attack with impunity while you me and the rest of pakistan is in such a deep sleep that we don’t hear helicopters hovering above Mr Osama’s residence for 40 minutes – I don’t think they need us to be complacent we already are!

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  • Noor
    Oct 1, 2011 - 5:25PM

    They have a well-documented history of first befriending states and then ditching them. And that is what seems to be happening yet again in Afghanistan & probably Pakistan as well.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/263949/hate-amrica-crush-amrika-ii/

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  • nisar
    Oct 2, 2011 - 12:47AM

    The worse will not over till the US escapes from Afghanistan. The US is finding a reason to escape and Pakistan’s Intelligence Agencies have found the cat. Insahallah, this era will be the last for the words “United States”.

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