Clinton Is Visiting Us for a Reason

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been saying many things to Pakistan over the years. She has been angry at us, she has admonished us, and at times, she has made us greedy for money. Today, Oct. 21, she will be arriving in Islamabad. Over the past few weeks, relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have been like a “roller coaster.” Over the past 10 years, Pakistan sacrificed a lot for the U.S. and helped it in any way possible. Then Washington stabbed Pakistan in the back.

The former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff accused Pakistan of aiding terrorists. He claimed that the Haqqani Network received direct support from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). This was the same man who used to say great things about the Pakistani army some years back. Now, it took him only one minute to destroy the relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. Pakistan’s army chief, General Parvez Ashfaq Kayani, has said that he would not bomb North Waziristan and won’t take actions which will be detrimental to Pakistan. Washington wanted Pakistan to attack all of al-Qaida’s “safe havens” in North Waziristan. Everyone in their establishment, from Obama and Clinton to Mullen and Panetta, wanted Pakistan to do this. Now, having been disappointed with us, they issue us a new threat every day.

We have learned about a secretive meeting that took place between General Kayani and Obama’s national security advisor, Thomas E. Donilon, in Saudi Arabia some time ago. According to the report, Donilon told Kayani that the U.S. wanted to maintain relations with Pakistan but that Pakistan would have to pick one of the following three choices (so that the Haqqani attacks would stop): “Kill the Haqqani leadership, help us kill them or persuade them to join a peaceful, democratic Afghan government.”

General Kayani, in response to Donilon’s demands, spoke at a Pakistani parliamentary briefing and stated that Donilon’s options would only be decided by the Pakistani parliament. He said that Pakistan would not sacrifice its own stability and interests for the sake of another country’s interests. He did not think it wise to carry out violent investigations and operations in North Waziristan. If the Pakistani government wanted to engage in a peaceful dialogue with the Taliban, he stated, then it should be able to do so.

There was nothing wrong with General Kayani’s statements. It took America a long time to come to the realization that Pakistan is not an easy target like Iraq and Afghanistan. We are a nuclear state, capable of making our own decisions. If Hillary Clinton is coming to Pakistan to greet us in a friendly manner, then we Pakistanis (the government, the army, the millions of people living below the poverty line) look forward to her visit and will welcome her. But we will not be welcoming her if she is coming to further Donilon’s agenda (which also includes making India the leader of South Asia). We will no longer accept Washington’s old agenda.

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