Work harder to 'squeeze' Haqqanis, Clinton tells Pakistan

You can’t keep snakes in your back yard and expect them to only bite your neighbours, says Clinton.

Atika Rehman October 21, 2011

ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday reiterated the US government’s message that Pakistan should do more to “squeeze” the Haqqani network from their border areas.

In a joint press conference held with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar in Islamabad, Clinton urged the Pakistani government to show greater cooperation with the US to corner militants.

“You can’t keep snakes in your back yard and expect them to only bite your neighbours,” Clinton said, making a clear reference to the Haqqani network that the US has accused Pakistan of maintaining links with.

(Read more: ISI must disengage from proxies, says Mullen)

She added that US and Afghan forces have “successfully” responded to Pakistan’s legitimate concern regarding terrorists working from the Afghan side of the border, and that Pakistan is expected to do the same.

“If we want to give peace a chance, we have some work to do,” said Secretary Clinton, urging Pakistan to do more to crackdown on extremists operating from Pakistani territory.

Response to Kayani

Clinton agreed with Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaque Pervez Kayani’s statement last week when he said “Pakistan is not like Afghanistan". She said that the US acknowledges that Pakistan is a sovereign nation and has a “full and comprehensive agenfa of issues to address”.

She added that Thursday’s talks included an in-depth conversation “with specifics”, and that the US looks forward to taking this ahead.

She also added that a plan is needed to move forward after the talks, and the process needs to be transparent, reiterating the need for a stable and secure Afghanistan.

Praise for APC

Clinton said that the All Parties Conference held in Pakistan last month was seen as  a “very significant statement” by the US.  She said that the US appreciated that all parties in Pakistan support the peace process and welcome the step as an important development.

US support for Pakistan

Clinton said that the US continues to support the democratic process and economic prosperity in Pakistan

“The US has invested billions of dollars in Pakistan,” she said. “Why? Because a thriving Pakistan is good (for Pakistan) and the rest of the world.”

She added that the US government wants to foster sustainable development in Pakistan, and wants to maintain a relationship of mutual respect and responsibility.

Pakistan has made the most sacrifices: Khar

Foreign Minister Khar concluded the press conference by stating that the world must not forget Pakistan’s sacrifices and losses in the war on terror.

Khar added that Pakistan has suffered economically as well as lost thousands of lives in the fight against terror, and has showed great commitment as a partner in the war.

She also said that Pakistan and US together support an Afghan-led peace process.

Earlier in the press conference, Clinton expressed sympathy for the grievous toll terrorism has taken on Pakistan.

“For too long, extremists have been able to operate in Pakistan and from Pakistani soil,” said Clinton, adding that action should be taken against them to limit the loss of Pakistani, American and Afghan lives.


Tony C. | 12 years ago | Reply

It is well established that snakes are indiscriminate as to who they bite, and their are no hard feelings when they do. Perhaps that is why America has bitten hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Pakistan.

narayana murthy | 12 years ago | Reply

Pakistanis claim and clamor about how much sacrifice they have made, how much losses they have incurred!!!

This is completely true. But completely besides the point.

Pakistan has taken money to fight the war. Pakistan has taken more money in terms of economic and other assistance. These money and assistance came with a clear condition to take out Al Qaeda and its affiliates.

On the contrary, Pakistan allegedly protected Al Qaeda supremo and are allegedly sponsoring Haqqani network to attack NATO.

Even if you simply look at it as a business...then you have basically went against your promise for the money you took from USA.

The other option is to say NO to US money and its war. However, in that case be prepared to be declared a terrorist state, to lose complete economic assistance from IMF as well, to be the next target of USA for being a terror harboring state, complete international isolation, complete isolation even on Kashmir issue and also be ready for open support for Baloch and other separatists, from USA and Europe.

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