Photo of the Week: Deputy Secretary Nides Travels to Pakistan

April 6, 2012
Deputy Secretary Nides Meets With Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rubani

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides traveled to Islamabad, Pakistan on April 2-4, 2012. While in Pakistan, he met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar at the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After the meeting, Deputy Secretary Nides said, "We are committed to the people of Pakistan. And, we recognize how challenging this past year has been. And, I am heartened that we are working through our differences very constructively. Being here today proves that a sustained engagement is the most productive way forward and a hallmark of the way in which mature democracies operate. Too much is at stake for us to turn away from each other, so we must work through all of these challenges. The United States shares an interest in the stability and prosperity of Pakistan and the region. We share the goal of growing our markets and increasing trade; and the desire for a stable, secure, and peaceful Afghanistan; and the belief in a strong, responsible civilian government."

You can view more photos from Deputy Secretary Nides' trip to Pakistan here.



Virginia, USA
April 6, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Reference Pakistan, how many billions spent on this country, and we still have the Taliban? When does it end? How many lives will perish because the country of Pakistan continues to train the Taliban forces used in Afghanistan. Last quote was over 20 Billiion US Dollars with Pakistan citizens taking thousands of dollars from the banks without evening getting a loan. My serious question is how many of those Billions ended up in the pockets of the politicans (Pakistan) Government. How much terrorism has come from this country and it was not placed on a terrorism watch? Why Not?

Ashim C.
April 9, 2012

Ashim C. in India writes:

Mr. Nides visit almost coincided announcement of awards for Hafeez Saeed. When US is trying to find ways of an honourable exit from Afpak region, agenda of te visit obviously had to be this and some specifics related to it. It seems from the pious genalities of his statements that Pakistan has talked tough for consumption of domestic audience because announcement of award is so openly pro Indian. Pakistan cannot be so knaive not appreciate that US has a need to pep up India as not much progress seems to be happening in Indo US relations as indicated by some of the high value deals India signed ignoring US, growing economic relation of India with China and BRICS discussing ways and means of intra-brics trade without dollar. US succeeded in realising this limited objective vis a vis India for a couple of days before the favourable impact of announcement of award evaporated as clarifications came that award was to get evidence about Hafees Saeed's involvement in Mumbai attack.

Clearly and undoubtedly, the clarification on award amounts to saying that whatever evidenceS India has shared with Pakistan and USA are not good enough and the same applies to findings of US investigation agencies. So the recent diplomatic moves should be like huge relief to Hafeez Saeed and his likes and will naturally embolden them. Now this is happening because US counter terrorism policies and measures are not always consistent. US resorts to the extreme of drone attacks which are often inaccurate in selection of targets and superficially in violation of Pak sovereignty but truly done with complete complicity of both civilian and military authorities in Pakistan. The fact that inspite of such repeated drone attacks and public outcry against them, Pakistan has been careful not even to severe it's diplomatic relations with US, which a good and practcal alternative declaration of war which any sovereign state worth it's salt would consider in Pakistan's circumstance establishes with reasonable credibility that all is well between US and Pakistan, US has no sincere intention to end terrorism, whatever US is saying about withdrawal from Afpak region is to balm the overwhelming opinion of American people against US millitary engagements in Afpak region and elsewhere at the cost of precious American lives and huge cost to the exchequer.

And how US position be different. Having invested so heavily in Afpak region to gain control there, how and why should it just get out of Afpak region without recovering adquately some of the investment immediately and in form of some long term gain and leave a vacuum, like the Soviet Russia did, to be filled up by a third power, which may not necessarily be friendly. In this context, US foreign policy should be straght, simple and candid about it's policies and redefine it's policies to remain in synch with dynamics of times and US compulsions therefrom.

Let us imagine for a while, how pleasntly positioned US would be in South Asia, if it had combined all it's efforts diverted and deployed it's resources from an over dragged millitary campaign to persue active economic diplomacy for progress and development with consequential tribal leaders in Afpak region to end extremism and terrorism.


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