US senator urges 'tough' Pakistan diplomacy after Nato raid

"Our support for them financially is dependent upon their cooperation with us," said Senator Kyl.

Afp November 27, 2011

WASHINGTON: A top United States (US) senator called for "tough diplomacy" with Pakistan on Sunday and urged Islamabad to cooperate with the US to maintain its financial aid, following cross-border Nato air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops.

"There's a lot of diplomacy that has to occur and it has to be tough diplomacy in the sense that they need to understand that our support for them financially is dependent upon their cooperation with us," Republican Senator Jon Kyl said on the Fox News Sunday talk show.

"We do need their support in the region," he acknowledged.

The air strikes on Saturday brought another chill to already frosty relations between the two uneasy allies, with Islamabad still a key partner for US military operations in neighboring Pakistan.

The US, which depends on Pakistan as a vital lifeline to supply 130,000 foreign troops fighting in landlocked Afghanistan, has scrambled to salvage the alliance.

In a joint statement, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have offered "deepest condolences" and said they backed "Nato's intention to investigate immediately."

Senator Dick Durbin, a top Democrat, on Sunday echoed Clinton and Panetta's statement, offering condolences and saying he was "deeply saddened, but warned that the crisis would likely further endanger US troops in the region.

"As difficult as it is to fight our way through this diplomatic morass, between the incompetence and maybe corruption in Afghanistan and the complicity in parts of Pakistan, our soldiers are caught right in the middle of this, at a time when they're trying to bring peace to this region," he said.

Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, a hawkish foreign policy advisor to former president George W Bush, meanwhile Sunday warned of confronting nuclear-armed Islamabad over US financial aid.

"While it is tempting for many people to say we ought to throw the Pakistanis over the side and stop giving them aid... as long as that country has nuclear weapons that could fall into the hands of radicals and be a threat worldwide, they have incredible leverage," he said.

The United States in 2009 approved a huge five-year, $7.5 billion civilian assistance package for Pakistan, but some US lawmakers have sought to cut civilian aid due to concerns over extremism.

John Huntsman, a former US ambassador to China and current Republican candidate for president, meanwhile said expectations with respect to its south Asian ally "have to be low in terms of what we can get out of the relationship."

Washington "thought we could get more, and we have been proven wrong time and time again," he told Fox News.


Ahmed | 10 years ago | Reply

@BruteForce Russia was super power once. Pakistan 's only problem is bad leadership and lack of institutions that will hold all the leaders accountable. On the other hand the whole west with the exception of Germany will be worse off then the beggars in Delhi who are of course worse off then the beggars in Karachi. Pakistan is fixable, USA my friend is not fixable so dream of more nachos and cheese in your diet shouldn't be far behind. If you speak English and are a white that route to being a global super power is extinct now. Pakistan is located at the most strategic location and all it need is committed leaders for six years who can fix its problems and make it a very good economic power. if Shaukat Aziz can make it compete with Dubai for dollars invested after 911 even a man of his caliber can perform miracle when USA is gone is next year and there are no more explosions in the ISI buildings and police stations. (I wonder why those attacks have come down now recently). Perhaps it may have been due to limiting the roaming of free lancers on streets of Pakistan. Since they have been stopped travelling, those attacks have stopped sharply and Pakistan always blames Indians how misguided were they perhaps.

Ali Khan | 10 years ago | Reply So Gilani suddenly wants Shamsi Drone attack base to close. Drones have been flying from this base for a long long time to kill Pakistanis regularly.What irony! Now his honour has suddenly awaken! Where has he been - filling his pockets like his president? We will know in two week's time if he is made of clay or steel.
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