Travel Diary: Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Visit to Pakistan

October 30, 2009
Secretary Clinton Meets With Pakistani Tribal Leaders

Trip Information Page | Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryAbout the Author:Anne W. Pattersonserves as the U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

During her three day visit to Pakistan, Secretary Clinton’s vision of people to people diplomacy and her support for Pakistan’s democratic institutions was clearly portrayed through her interactions with the government and civil society.

In her first trip to Pakistan as secretary of state, Secretary Clinton gracefully coupled her protocol duties of meeting with government leaders with a large number of social and cultural activities including town halls held Islamabad and Lahore, meetings with civil society leaders (including women and Pashtun elders), interviews with Pakistani journalists and visits to some of Pakistan’s renowned religious and cultural sites.

The Secretary's visit to Pakistan will be remembered as one marking her strong desire to combine America’s support for Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism with strong support for Pakistan’s reestablished democratic government. In meetings and public events, the Secretary reiterated America’s desire to have a broad and deep partnership with Pakistan based on mutual respect and trust.

Comments

Comments

nancy c.
|
California, USA
October 30, 2009

Nancy in California writes:

I watched the videos of your visit in Pakistan, Hillary. Wow!! You are doing a truly outstanding job and a difficult one. The questions you fielded from students (especially) showed the hostility many feel about the U.S. You did an excellent job with blunt and necessary responses and comments about our relationship with Pakistan. Thank you for all you are doing.

Maria
|
Florida, USA
October 30, 2009

Maria in Florida writes:

Madame Secretary, we are so proud of you. Your stright forward remarks during your interviews show the world how great a Sec. of State that you are. Thank you for all you do for peace in the world.
Keep Safe and may God bless you during your travels.

Maria
Palm Coast, Fl

txkboy
|
Texas, USA
October 30, 2009

T.K.B. in Texas writes:

Madam Secretary,

Although I usually don't agree with you on political views, but "THANK YOU", for voicing the facts most Americans have known and felt concerning Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the tribal regions of Pakistan. I don't believe that direct diplomacy is achieved by being rude, but candor can't be overstated. We are a nation of goalsetters and means-to-an-end people. Certainly with the aid package the Pakistani government has received from the U.S., they can do better than turning up a few key passports. Keep safe.

Efzal
|
Pakistan
October 30, 2009

Efzal in Pakistan writes:

Secretary Clinton is a true friend of Pakistan. I may doubt others but she is the sincerest person US Administration has ever seen. Her interaction with Media and Students of Pakistan (though not truly a representative of all 4 provinces) was an excellent show. This people-to-people contact must go on so that we can understand each other point of view properly. Her frank and candid discussion with the media and students has made me a big fan of her.

Lots of love & regards from the province of North West Frontier (Pukhtoonkhwa)

Masood
|
California, USA
October 30, 2009

Masood in California writes:

Dear Ambassador Ann, Secretary Clinton's interaction with civil society and her desire to support Pakistani people is clearly communicated. Her direct engagement with the people of Pakistan will fill in the gaps where Pakistani political leadership has fallen short!

Jack
|
Virginia, USA
October 30, 2009

Jack in Virginia writes:

Well done, Secretary Clinton. This recent visit to Pakistan could not have been easy. News footage of your interviews in Pakistan showed the world that the some of the Pakistani people have a long way to go in understanding our intentions. But, what was very clear to me was this: your sincerity shines through. Yes, you had to deliver some tough and sobering messages, but form does matter. It's why President Obama is able to connect with so many around the world. The way and manner in which you engage DOES matter.

We have some very serious foreign policy challenges ahead in Pakistan, but you made yourself accessible to the people of Pakistan and that makes a big difference in both the long and short run.

Keep up the good work and, as I've often mentioned on this blog, please continue to utilize the institutional wisdom and expertise of the brave men and women on the Foreign Service. They are your troops and will help you implement the administrations policies anytime, anywhere.

Best regards,

Jack

Helen
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 30, 2009

Helen in Washington writes:

Madam Secretary

I am so proud of the work you are doing. In this trip to Pakistan you have demonstrated your courage and your forthrightness in addressing complicated issues. In stepping out of the normal diplomatic staged events, you have shown the world your sincerity and your determination. Well done and thank you.

Council A.
|
United States
October 31, 2009

COPAA in U.S.A. writes:

We at COPAA are are very thankful for the trip you took to Pakistan. Your trip has demonstrated to the people of Pakistan and world your courage and your forthrightness in addressing challenging issues that are faced by Pakistan and people of Pakistan. Your determination to help the people of Pakistan will bring positive results for all. Very well done and I thank you as President of Council of Pakistan American Affairs for making this historic journey to Pakistan.

RC
|
Missouri, USA
October 31, 2009

R.C. in Missouri writes:

You're doing so much - I see a PEACE PRIZE in your future!

Ed
|
Florida, USA
October 31, 2009

Ed in Florida writes:

I understand what Secy Clinton is seeking to do: foment a more dialogue-based relationship with Pakistan and all the middle east. However I was deeply disturbed that she threw the previous administration under the bus so egregiously: "...night and day from the previous administration..." May I suggest, since she is the chief diplomat, that it might have been more diplomatic to say, "I cannot speak for the previous administration. As you know, in a democracy when a new president comes in, changes are inevitable..." etc.

Sadly, this goea hand in hand with the president's multiple apologies for the U.S. to Europe and Latin America. I am embarrassed and ashamed that our elected leaders have chosen to be so hat-in-hand to the rest of the world.

You are leaders. So lead. You're in power now, campaign rhetoric is no longer appropriate.

As a former Peace Corps member I remember a conversation with a British Ag Service veteran. As a 22 yr old American I had encountered my first taste of anti-American sentiment, and asked, "why do they hate us?" I'll never forget his response: "You're on top now mate, it's your turn to be hated."

We cannot wheedle our way into the hearts and minds of the world. We are going to be disliked no matter what we do, and there is only so much diplomacy can do. As we see in Iran and North Korea, negotiation is a game they play with no intention of making any substantive changes. We cannot compliment them into changing or liking us.

I would love to hear back that what was reported in the newspapers was not what Secy Clinton actually said, or it was taken out of context, etc etc. But I fear it is part of a pattern that begins at the top.

I salute the Secy for projecting a posture of a semblance of humility rather than arrogance. But she and the president have gone too far.

Ron
|
New York, USA
October 31, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Dear Ambassador Patterson:

I have been contacted by a Pakistani in Brooklyn (Christian/NGO/Peshawar) who seeks U.S. Visas for his family to escape the recent terrorist attacks and persecution by extremist religious leaders. I hope you will address these issues as the non-Muslim and Christian Pakistanis' suffering intensifies.

Doreen
|
New York, USA
November 2, 2009

Doreen in New York writes:

My nephew recently accompanied his mother when she returned to Lahore from her NY visit. I spoke to his wife to see how she is handling her business the past few weeks without daily help from her husband. She has been in regular contact by telephone over the past several weeks with her husband and her relatives who live in Punjab province. She states that her family now fears taking public transportation and this is a daily fear for a lack of safety in the country. Her mother wonders if her sister will reach her destination for work, or there will be some serious problem along the way. This is an unacceptable condition.

What I am saying is the fear has perpetuated the working masses because of the constant problems in the country, and that this is the first time they can remember feeling this way.

Ron
|
New York, USA
November 4, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Afghanipak and the Spread of Organized Crime and Terrorism:

Pakistan may annex Afghanistan, including Waziristan to create a mega-center of transnational organized crime, corruption, and terrorism. This would lead to regional destabilization reaching India and the Mid-East; including partnerships Iran. Redoubling military efforts will not prevent these alliances. They will accelerate them. The new challenge is to co-opt honest players as a counter-force, in an economically and politically sustainable relationship.

.

Latest Stories

November 25, 2014

20th Anniversary of State.gov

It seems like just yesterday that the Bureau of Public Affairs (PA) developed the internet precursor to the state.gov website… more
November 24, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks in Vienna

Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to London, Paris and Vienna, November 17-24. On November 24, Secretary Kerry held a… more

Pages