Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, says talk of “doing more” will not help.
Speaking at the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, Rehman said Pakistan’s view on drones is that they breach international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty, as much as they see terrorists breaching it. “We see it (drones) as activating more terrorists than destroying them.”
In her remarks, Rehman said that it was ‘intellectually lazy’ to use metaphors such as marriage and divorce when describing the US-Pakistan relationship. The ambassador said that the relationship between both countries can now be more sober and defined with predictability and trust. “[The year] 2014 is not the end of history for us,” said Rehman, adding that a sustainable US-Pakistan relationship has to be based on trade.
Rehman said that any kind of transition should not pose a greater risk of Afghanistan sinking into economic instability. The Pakistani ambassador said that when Pakistan has schoolgirls like Malala shot by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, who are amassing in Kunar, Pakistan does not lead public opinion by saying that this was deliberate or planned, and expect the same kind of consideration.
Rehman said that while Pakistan does not want to divest itself of responsibility for what happened as the US left Afghanistan after the Soviets pulled out, it has made important strides and learned lessons from its past.
In response to a question about the rights of minorities in Pakistan, the ambassador said that they have to build mechanisms and have already increased seats for minorities in the National Assembly and Senate.
“Most mainstream parties are united in seeking to empower the minorities,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2013.
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