Pakistan has had interactions with some 'unsavoury characters': Obama

Published: October 6, 2011
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Obama says that Pakistan has “hedged bets on what Afghanistan would look like” after the withdrawal of US troops. PHOTO: AFP

Obama says that Pakistan has “hedged bets on what Afghanistan would look like” after the withdrawal of US troops. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: Addressing a press conference at the White House, US President Barack Obama, while highlighting that Pakistan has been an effective partner on various issues, said that Pakistan has “hedged bets on what Afghanistan would look like” after the withdrawal of US troops.

In response to a question on Pakistan and its alleged links with the Haqqani Network, President Obama said that Pakistan has had interactions with some “unsavoury characters” that the latter believes might end up regaining power in Afghanistan.

He added that there are connections of Pakistani intelligence and military with certain individuals that the United States finds “troubling”.

President Obama’s statement comes after weeks of acrimony and a new low point in US-Pakistan relations after Admiral Mike Mullen accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence of having ties with the Haqqani Network.

The US President reiterated that Pakistan needed to improve its relations with India, adding that, “Pakistan still thinks India is their mortal enemy.”

On the subject of cutting assistance to Pakistan, the US President said that while the US will constantly re-evaluate relationship with Pakistan, “We have a great desire to help Pakistani people to help them strengthen their society and government.”

He added that the US did not want to punish, for instance, flood victims of Pakistan for some decisions that their intelligence agency might have taken.

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Reader Comments (60)

  • hamza khan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:55PM

    shah kaalia at it again…

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  • Oct 6, 2011 - 10:01PM

    Vienna,06-10-2011
    What a real time response from Pressident Obama
    to the joint warning issued by Chief of Army Staff
    Ashraf Kayani and Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman
    to Afghanistan! President Obama mentioned only
    Pakistan being silent on Saudi Arabia. But the sand
    land kingdom deserves to note that it was because
    silence is meant to be responded in silence.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Babloo
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:09PM

    Mr Obama is advocating good relations with the eternal enemy of Pakistan , in control of the juguler vein, that will result in the loss of the greatest national asset : strategic depth. Is that good ?

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  • fahim
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:17PM

    there are very few sane people left here to even understand what you are trying to say here.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Nice excuses thank u mr president.

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  • Ammar
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:28PM

    In the second para don’t you mean ‘Pakistan has had interactions with some “unsavoury characters” that the latter believes might end up regaining power in AFGHANISTAN’ instead of Pakistan? You might want to correct that, given the somewhat significant magnitude of the story and all..?

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  • Roflcopter
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:32PM

    “President Obama said that Pakistan has had interactions with some “unsavoury characters”

    The same “unsavoury characters” US officials were secretly meeting.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:36PM

    Pakistani army/ISI should come out and expose the lies of US president or accept them as truth. By not refuting the presence of OBL in Abbottabad we have officially accepted American claims of his death. Let us start speaking the truth for a change.

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  • abdullah
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:37PM

    this was just a loosers talk………………..obama get sum thing new 2 news…..

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  • Juma khan Bugti
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:38PM

    Pakistani people would really appreciate;

    If US stops interfering in our affairs,
    If US stops lecturing us on who our enemy is,
    If US stops riding the moral high hoarse all the while having secret contact with Haqqanis,
    and finally if US gets the hell out og Afghanistan.

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  • fighting falcon
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:40PM

    indeed a bold and to the point by the president.. well we use the word ” non state actors ” and americans say “unsavourry characters “..otherwise message is same..

    “He added that the US did not want to punish, for instance, flood victims of Pakistan for some decisions that their intelligence agency might have taken”

    I got some underlying message here, not sure if im the only one who felt it that way…

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  • Syed
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:42PM

    ” ….that the latter believes might end up regaining power in Pakistan.”

    in Pakistan or Afghanistan ?!?!

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  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:46PM

    President Obama said that Pakistan has had interactions with some “unsavoury characters” that the latter believes might end up regaining power in Pakistan.

    Is that a Freudian slip?

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  • Miqs
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:54PM

    Here We Go Again

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Oct 6, 2011 - 10:58PM

    Pakistan is very greatfull for re avalaute relations and cocern of kashmir pres…

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  • TruthSeeker
    Oct 6, 2011 - 11:22PM

    Good joke. The same white house he is saying this from is where these “unsavoury” characters have set.Recommend

  • Syed
    Oct 6, 2011 - 11:53PM

    Can someone ask this US President, to improve its relations with North Korea, Iran, Cuba… without expectation from these countries.

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  • Saboor
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:02AM

    yeah right, fix your own country first.

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  • Niaz Hussain Shah
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:06AM

    I can say one thing for sure that terrorists cannot win the war against Pakistan Army, neither they can take charge of the government. Pakistanis are educated and civilized nation that is why they twice elected Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as their Prime Minister. We the Pakistanis have a habit of seeing things in a right perspective.

    On the other hand this is USA who always betrayed Pakistan. Fall of East Pakistan, war against Russia and many more incidences are evident examples.

    Drone attacks are the recent issue. Mr. Obama friends and strategic partners never violate each other’s sovereignty. Look at Raymond Davis issue he killed two innocent people directly and third one was killed by American Embassy’s car. America’s State department, CIA, Pentagon even White house was involved to get Raymond Davis release. President Obama you yourself lied about Raymond diplomatic immunity. He was not a diplomat in fact he was Black Water or Xe.

    We want to keep good relations with all our neighbors especially India, But India has divided Pakistan, still occupying Kashmir, stopping our water, never leave any chance to malign Pakistan, makes false propaganda. That is the reason Pakistan thinks that India is their mortal enemy. Even you Mr.Obama in your election campaign said that peace in Indo subcontinent starts from Kashmir. Then your stance changed.

    As far as cutting assistance and aid to Pakistan, people of Pakistan do not need your assistance. We were surviving when USA was not helping us. We survived when USA imposed sanctions on us. We can do without your help. We want to live with honor, respect and dignity.

    Pakistan army and ISI is fighting with terrorist and we’ll continue this war against menace of terror. Pakistan has sacrificed more than 40,000 people and count continues. More than 6000 army personal have been martyred. Pakistan bore $70 billion loss. After these many sacrifices you expect us to do more.

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  • yayha
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:07AM

    American president is great at making statements.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:08AM

    US has had interactions with many ‘unsavoury characters’ like the MUJHAHIDEENS in Afghanistan, IRA in British Isles, MAFIAs in Mexico, and JEWISH UNDERGROUND TERRORIST in Jordanian Palestine.
    What about that.???!!

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  • Doctor
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:10AM

    President Obama is putting it lightly. The truth is that the ISI is one of the worst Intelligence Agencies in the world. Most intelligence agencies help the people of their country become safer while the ISI does the opposite. It destabilizes Pakistan and rather than taking orders from the democratically-elected government, it gives the government orders.

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  • Rubab
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:37AM

    ..irony when Obama says that Pakistan cohorts with unsavory characters as US permanently shares a bed with His Highness The Saudis.

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  • Ali
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:38AM

    Pakistan will guarantee than Afghanistan is not used by “Al Qaeda”
    America must guarantee than Afghanistan is not used by Hindustan

    Ofcourse America never sticks to its promises we all remember the pressler amendment.
    Obama will not win the election.Hopefully Ron Paul will and Al Qaeda will then melt away. if a neocon wins the Presidendency then america will just self destruct

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  • Shafaaqat
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:42AM

    Slowly but surely they are back tracking. Good decision by PAK for the first time, although the same has been suggested for years now by IK and PTI.

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  • Arindom
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:44AM

    this article abpve hides more than it tells..
    Basically Obama just stopped short of calling Pakistan a terrorist nation. He ripped apart the facade of ‘ally’ for Pakistan and virtually gave an ultimatum to Pakistani Generals stop supporting terrorists. This doube-faced policy of Pakistan he added, has caused instability all around the region….

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  • Syed Ali
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:50AM

    @ Mr. President! Some times its quite refreshing to do some interospection. As you might recall ” goodness personified” kind of ” unsavoury characters” were your creation and up untill last month, our darlings at CIA and Pentagon had quite alot of contacts with them. Blaming poor Pakis for ones own follies are not going to solve the problems.

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  • Aamir
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:52AM

    What about the alleged connection between Haqqani Network and CIA/US Special Forces, Americans wouldn’t talk about their links but will continue to point finger at Pakistan/ISA….shame shame shame

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:54AM

    US President should remove the trust deficit between US and Pakistan to normalize relations between the two countries.

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:00AM

    “Pakistan still thinks India is their mortal enemy.”

    And US still thinks it is winning in Afghanistan.

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  • Zafar Khan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:05AM

    It seems the Lord is not happy with his petty subjects. Hopefully the subjects will obey else they will be flogged very publicly.

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  • Oct 7, 2011 - 1:11AM

    He suddenly realizes all this after they found Bin Laden? Sorry I ever liked you Obama.

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  • fighting falcon
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:19AM

    Achtung Achtung !!! ” He added that the US did not want to punish, for instance, flood victims of Pakistan for some decisions that their intelligence agency might have taken. ” …. i am smelling something between the lines..am i the only one who feel this way ?????

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  • AD
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:35AM

    through those connections u started to talk to haqqani’s and beg them to let them out from afghanistan? what a hypocrite.

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  • AD
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:39AM

    @fighting falcon, yes lame warning.. that they can punish and they will punish.. sooner or later…as thats their only goal now.

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  • Idrees Kapadia
    Oct 7, 2011 - 2:02AM

    Hahahaha… What a funny guy Obama is.. “The US President reiterated that Pakistan needed to improve its relations with India, adding that, “Pakistan still thinks India is their mortal enemy.”

    It Looks like Obama is some Prophet in making. How much he Knows about what relationship Pakistan SHOULD have with India and who is Pakistan’s enemy? However, he is absolutely clueless that how to fix his own economy which is in debt of $14 Trillion US dollars which is equal to it’s annual GDP. US credit Rating is downgraded recently and he knows nothing about it. Yet he knows who is Pakistan’s enemy or friend.

    President Obama said that Pakistan has had interactions with some “unsavoury characters” that the latter believes might end up regaining power in Afghanistan.

    Hahahaha.. Let me remind Obama that have a look at the faces of all those his army is fighting against in Afghanistan “unsavoury characters” These are the same “unsavoury characters” about whom REAGON said sitting with them in the white House(speech is available at Youttube) ” They are equivalent of our founding fathers”. I think US nation should punish Obama for talking against equivalents of their own Founding fathers. Too bad..

    @Mirza:
    Wrong, Burden of establishing evidence is on US not Pakistan.. In OBL case where are the evidence USA had of killing OBL and dumping the Body in the sea? Dumping the body in the sea? why? A man after who more than $3 trillions were spent on war , why he was not captured alive while he was with no arms? He should have been arrested and brought to court in a telecast trial so that whole world could watch getting him punished and accepting his deeds. But dumping in the sea with so much of secrecy doesn’t let believe even majority of Americans. They do not accept their official version. No one will. Burden of proof is on USA still. Recommend

  • Analyst
    Oct 7, 2011 - 3:30AM

    In the same press conference Mr Obama also said the following

    Mr. Obama explicitly alluded to Pakistan’s role in its troubled history with India, saying Pakistan saw its “security interest threatened by an independent Afghanistan, in part because they think it will ally itself to India and Pakistan still considers India their mortal enemy.”

    “Part of what we want to do is actually get Pakistan to realise that a peaceful approach towards India would be in everybody’s interests,” he said.

    My question is , where everyone else has failed , how do you plan to make Pakistan ‘realise’ so ?

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  • Rao
    Oct 7, 2011 - 3:32AM

    @Mirza,

    Your’s is only reasonable comments so far, on subject topic.

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  • Rao
    Oct 7, 2011 - 3:46AM

    I second Mr.Mirza. Pls confront Obama with facts & reasons. Pls don’t quote Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Vietnam etc, for a change.

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  • rkfrom USA
    Oct 7, 2011 - 3:49AM

    @Imran Mohammad:
    wow!! do you see how US speaks about pak?? Do you think US would have used that language against any other nation???? It clearly shows what a poor opinion evry nation in the world has of pak. And the paki newspapers and talk shows and the so caelled leaders speak as if they are equal to USA!!! that is so laughable. Even a country like afghanistan is now openly saying against pak!!!!

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  • Patrik
    Oct 7, 2011 - 4:26AM

    Actually Mr Obama, The US has had contacts with even more dubious characters e.g Mubarak,Pinochet, The Saudi regime so in this case I will side with Pakistanis, The US has no moral high ground on this

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  • aniq
    Oct 7, 2011 - 4:37AM

    @Arindom:
    you must have read the wrong article. All countries have different interest. Even the US is supporting terrorist like the northern alliance. So you points are hollow and have no meaning stop being so immature

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  • Nate Gupta
    Oct 7, 2011 - 4:49AM

    But according to Mr. Gilani, US and Pak relation are thawing. Don’t believe me? Check out the related stories section of this article :D :D

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  • Edward T
    Oct 7, 2011 - 5:26AM

    @Syed:
    Man, stop the blame game and work on improving your country. We all want you to be successful, nobody wants you to fail. Get out of your “war with India” mindset and embrace peace and prosperity man. Fighting against everybody is only going to get Pakistan deeper in trouble.

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  • Ali
    Oct 7, 2011 - 5:40AM

    Looks like your own govt. was about to “shut down” last week Mr Obama. You need to solve your own problems first. Look at you pointing fingers at other countries….pathetic

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  • Asha
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:37AM

    @Niaz Hussain Shah:$70 billion loss?? Why not go the whole way and make it $70 trillion? After all, words are free. Recommend

  • Akbar Khan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:27AM

    Pakistan has had interactions with some ‘unsavoury characters’: Obama…………..

    It also goes the other way round i.e. USA has had and still have interactions with lots of ‘unsavory characters’ e.g. TALIBAN (from US point of view), Haqqani (from US point of view), Dalai Lama (Chinese point of view), Chechen (Russian point of view), Northern Alliance (Pakistan point of view), ISI (Indian point of view), RAW (Pakistan point of view).

    It all depends on persons point of view. Of course Obama can only see through CIA and US military eyes and his comment is understandable.

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  • Lobe
    Oct 7, 2011 - 7:29AM

    Obama’s statement is justified. He has to go in front of congress and plead them for increase in aid to Pakistan. But there is no progress what so ever and the reason is Pak establishment.

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  • A student of history
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:33AM

    Wow, such incredible comments from your readers. Last time I looked. Pakistan was still located on this planet, but the people above, what universe have they escaped to?

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  • Arindom
    Oct 7, 2011 - 9:40AM

    @aniq: so – you are an estalishment brainwashed person who supports terrorists?

    start reading establishment doctored text books for a change – read global material. btw- you’d also do well to see the whole Press conference.

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  • Pundit
    Oct 7, 2011 - 12:12PM

    I dont think its fair of Pres Obama calling Pres Zardari an “ unsavoury character”

    I demand proof from him !

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  • murad khan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:57PM

    Pakistani establishment should understand that Afghanistan as a sovereign state and have the right to have good relation with other countries of the world.the sooner Pakistan accept this reality the better it will be for peace and prosperity of the region.

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  • trueman
    Oct 7, 2011 - 2:20PM

    @Juma khan Bugti:
    Forgot to add the AID factor sonny

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  • Lateef Khan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 3:15PM

    Obama is talking about Himself & Bush when he mentions unsavoury characters!

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  • Ghaznavi
    Oct 7, 2011 - 4:18PM

    So has United States Mr President; US has had and still has contacts with very unsavory characters the world over, clean up your house before cleaning mine…

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Oct 7, 2011 - 5:44PM

    @rkfrom USA
    Obama’s only objective is to get reelected. He has nothing to show to American public. So, he is dumping on Pakistan. He is just saying what has been fed to the teleprompter by his advisers, he does not know what is he talking about. Why Pakistan should not consider India as the enemy. With unresolved issues of Kashmir and Siachen, seven Indian Army corps sitting on its border, every few months some exercise close to the border and burgeoning defense expenditure, what else should Pakistan consider India? Recommend

  • Mehdi
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:40PM

    “Pakistan still thinks India is their mortal enemy.”

    Pakistan can befriend India by assuming Kashmir never happened and neither did the Indian violation of the water treaty.

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  • Oct 7, 2011 - 7:50PM

    Eat More Sugar Cane.

    Well we should not expect a different attitude from America after releasing Raymond Davis and handing over the helicopter tail in a plate.
    Actually, no person or a nation can be insulted more than it’s own permitted limits. As they say your respect is in your own hands.

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  • Rahul D B
    Oct 8, 2011 - 12:57AM

    @Juma khan Bugti:
    Unfortunately you dont get to say what US does, because the US owns you.
    About getting out of Afghanistan, its none of your business too, Pakistanis should try to improve their own lot rather than have their hands in mischief across Afghanistan and India.
    If your elected rulers could keep your military under control we could all get on with our lives.Recommend

  • lobe
    Oct 8, 2011 - 5:32PM

    Awesome language our (Indian) diplomats and leaders should learn something.

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