The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held its nomination hearing on Tuesday with Richard Olson and James Cunningham, nominated for the posts of US Ambassadors to Pakistan and Afghanistan, respectively, giving their testimonies.
In his opening remarks, the committee’s chairman Senator John Kerry said Pakistan remains central to what happens in Afghanistan.
“Last year was very challenging for our relationship with Pakistan,” he added.
Many Pakistanis, according to him, believe that the US will abandon the region like it did after the Soviet war. And that is why, he said, Pakistan “continues to hedge its bets and rely on certain insurgent groups for strategic depth.”
Senator Lugar said that despite the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have a presence in Pakistan. In his opening statement, Ambassador Olson said that Pakistan was a nation with resilient people and has great potential.
He highlighted the economic challenges that Pakistan faces, and acknowledged that the last few years had been hard for relations between the US and Pakistan. He added that Pakistanis had suffered greatly from violence in the country.
During the question and answer session with the nominees, Senator Kerry asked Ambassador Olson about the Haqqani Network. Olson said that the Haqqani Network was one of the toughest challenges that the US face.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.
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@Zalmai: It gives me pleasure that Afghans have realaised their enemies but here one thing all Afghans have put in their mind that ' we can change friends but we can.t change neighbours'. So if we wana to build and serve Afghanistan we should now just focus how to make Afghanistan a peaceful and prosperous state.
The bottom line is that we cannot have a safe and stabilize region without a safe and stable Pakistan. With that said, we must address the issues that are preventing both of our nations from achieving our shared objectives. Terrorist organizations like the Haqqani network have proven that they do not wish to see the region thrive in peace. The regular attacks against our forces leave very little to ponder regarding their evil objectives. The truth is that the Haqqani network poses as much of a threat to Pakistan as they do to the U.S. We respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and that’s why we’ve asked Pakistan to go after this terrorist organization. We have a common wish to see peace prevail in the region. The resumption of the GLOC shows that we are willing to put our differences aside and work closely for the betterment of the region.
Kerry was a staunch Pakistan ally who I suspect feels betrayed - he rarely makes public comments about Pakistan and when he does those comments seem guarded. It's unfortunate but your never going to see another major pro Pakistani bill with his (or anyone else) name on it.
As long as India and Pakistan don't reconcile, Afghanistan will always remain a venue of their power struggle. While Pakistan will exert an influence over the Pashtuns in Afghanistan, India will try to form alliance with the other non-Pashto speakers.
@amjad khattak: so why not US foil the pakistani plan and leave the region early ???
Why tempt faith, as your imminent Bankruptcy will also be sooner in that case !
Pray that Republications don't get in to the White House, as they already have decided their foreign policy towards Pakistan. Did you hear Romney's speech in Israel earlier this week ? That should be raising alarms bells in GHQ, if not in Islamabad !
so why not US foil the pakistani plan and leave the region early ???
that the Haqqani Network was one of the toughest challenges that the US face.
Rest assure that Pakistan is unlikely to deal with this , so if US wants this problem solved then they will have to put boots on the ground in NW. After all its not a case that Pak has any control of this region themselves to call it sovereign territory !
During the question and answer session with the nominees, Senator Kerry asked Ambassador Olson about the Haqqani Network. Olson said that the Haqqani Network was one of the toughest challenges that the US faceemphasized text.
And now Kerry wants that Pakistan should also face this "toughets challenge" e.g. Haqqani. Please have mercy on this poor state we have already faced so many troubles in our Afghan war agaisnt Russian and now the War Against terror. US should stop interferring in other countries this creats anti US feelings.
There is a term for US behaviour, i.e. "Chipku".
Why is it that all of Pakistan's policies (regarding India, Afghanisntan, Iran etc) are wrong and the US is working painstankingly to rectify these policies?? (please put up the correct picture, this is Kerry)