U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 24, 2010
Secretary Clinton Shakes Hands With Pakistan Foreign Minister Qureshi

Secretary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi co-chaired the first U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial level in Washington, DC on March 24. The Strategic Dialogue, marking a major intensification of our partnership, represents the shared commitment of both nations to strengthening the bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and mutual trust. At the opening session, Secretary Clinton said:

"We have been looking forward to this meeting for a long time. It is the culmination of months of work by people in both our countries. It is the next step in a relationship that stretches back to Pakistan's earliest days, but it is also the start of something new -- a new phase in our partnership, with a new focus and a renewed commitment to work together to achieve the goals we share: stability, prosperity, opportunity for the people of both Pakistan and the United States.

"Now, this is not the first Strategic Dialogue between our countries, but it is the first led by a Foreign Minister and a United States Secretary of State, and it reflects our government's commitment to its success. During my visit to Pakistan in October, Foreign Minister Qureshi and I agreed that it was time for a Strategic Dialogue of this caliber to ensure that the work we do together will yield real and lasting benefits for our citizens. So during the next two days, we will determine concrete steps that our countries will take to advance our work in key areas, including addressing Pakistan's urgent energy needs and helping communities damaged by violence to rebuild. More broadly, we will discuss our goals and vision for our partnership's long-term future and set forth a schedule for that future.

"Pakistan and the United States have come together at critical moments throughout our history. We have provided aid and support to each other at trying times. We have faced wars and responded to natural disasters together. Over the years, our relationship has been tested, but it has always endured. And I am pleased we have come together again -- at this critical moment -- to reinforce our ties and recommit to building a partnership that will last."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.



United Kingdom
March 25, 2010

Nasir in United Kingdom writes:

This strategic dialogue will be a futile practice as the most suffered people of this ongoing conflict, i.e. the Pashtuns have been ignored. The US is again on the same wrong old path to engage the irrelevant and the people responsible for this war but not those who are key to success in this war. The Pashtuns have already showed their reservations about this dialogue on different forums and have lost their interests in it even before its start and particularly when the military has further sidelined the political government. If US and Pakistan are serious about solving this problem, they should give more space and power to Pashtun representatives otherwise we are feared that this region will be another Yugoslavia of 21st century. The feeling that US is not serious about the issue of Terrorism and Islamic Fundamentalism and ignoring Pashtuns in this dialouge will further enhance tese feelings.

Naveed A.
United States
March 25, 2010

Naveed A. in USA writes:

The Pushtun people have been blamed for giving rise to the Taliban, when in fact the Taliban were imposed on them and manipulated for "strategic depth" by outsiders. The results of that policy included the death and destruction of countless Pushtun people, and the interchangeable use and identification of the words Taliban and Pushtun as to mean the same thing.

The Pushtun people feel that their voice has not been heard. Pakistan has excluded them, because it has used them for their proxy war with India (by allowing militants to use their lands and suppressing local resistance to the Taliban till only very recently).

There are many many accounts of Pakistani Army individuals dressing up as Taliban and then carrying out a local mission against locals who opposed the Taliban.

There is much dismay and fear that unless Pushtuns are included in the dialogue that impacts their future, the only likely outcome will be flawed, and possibly plunge them into further chaos.

The rebuilding of schools, provision of very basic healthcare, the opportunity to develop local industry; all things that Pushtuns do easily when they go overseas, is withheld from them in their own country.

The Pushtun people want to rid their lands of Islamic extremism and be afforded the dignity that any human being deserves.

Ajmal K.
United Kingdom
March 25, 2010

Ajmal K. in United Kingdom writes:

This dialogue between US and Pakistan, which in reality is between US and Pakistani Military, without the inclusion of Pashtuns and without addressing the Pashtun issues will give an impression that US also surrendered to the Pakistani Strategic depth and hence terrorism and fundamentalism. Pashtuns who have been on the frontline of War against Terror have been ignored. If the world really wants to eradicate terrorism and extremism they should engage those who lie on the epicenter of this conflict and not those who are beneficiaries of terrorism. This dialogue is a useless exercise and it will not help to solve the problem rather will further weaken the global efforts by losing the trust of Pashtuns. US should strengthen the Political forces in Pakistan and specially the Pashtuns to win this war.

Tanveer B.
Oregon, USA
March 28, 2010

Tanveer B. in Oregon writes:

The enhanced cooperation between US and Pakistan in the AfPak Theater increases the hope of stabilizing Afghanistan within the timeline proposed by the President and, at a lower cost to American taxpayers. I disagree with commentators suggesting that Phustuns are not represented in the dialogue - Pakistan government has jurisdiction on all areas in the province of NWFP and FATA; so, Pushuns were represeted!

November 6, 2010

Aqeel in Pakistan writes:

I have read the following comments,Forien state minister infact represents the whole country,all the public,sects and communities as a whole.But I agree that war against terror is important and significantly important as its related to Peace-The global peace thus growth in ever socioeconomic sector.Therefore it is really important to get involved pashtoons in this discussion.That is the key area that needs to addressed for Peace.After Afghani came to pakistan after and during soviet war,they first settled in NWFP,where the captured the whole economy of NWFP from pakistani Local Pashtoon Community.At that time i was in Mardan on vacations and observed disliking for comming Afghanis because they started committing bigger crimes,They were somehow warriors who partially or fully fought against Soviet Union so in a way they were trained people.But when the voice and concern of pashtoon was overlooked by the goverment,with time they started intermingling.So I will also agree that Talibans are imposed over pashtoons.so for real solution on issue of talibans,pashtoon must be invited to this forum with their opinion.Just Think..how many pashtoon living in NWFP can know about this blog and reach to this blog even if they want.But their grass root level involvement to this discussion is important to resolve taliban issue.


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