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Relationship must deliver now: Clinton.

Islamabad, October 22, 2011 (Frontier Star): Giving a sugar-coated doze, US on Friday made it clear to Pakistan that there was no choice but to yield towards implementation of the American policy for the region. On a mission to repair ties with Pakistan ruptured by allegations of complicity and threats of unilateral action, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton conveyed to Pakistani leadership 'a saturated level of American patience.' According to sources privy to her two-day meetings in Islamabad, Clinton has told Pakistani leadership that both US, and Pakistan had no choice but to work, visibly, towards ending the menace of terrorism. "And that too at the earliest," the sources added. Even during her joint press conference with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Clinton pressed upon Pakistan in so many words to dismantle Taliban safe havens. Responding to Pakistani slogan of "give peace a chance," Clinton said her country had already given peace a chance. Answering a question about Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani's statement she said, I totally agreed with him in saying "Pakistan is not Iraq or Afghanistan, but it is a sovereign nation. It has a comprehensive agenda of engagement with rest of the world. And we are with Pakistan to support its agenda of engagement." Referring to her meetings, she said, "we have in-depth discussion and underlined the urgency to deal with issues we need to address at length." "We respect Pakistan's sovereignty, and sympathize with it over the loss of life and to its economy," she said. But Pakistan side, she emphasized, need to understand joint responsibility having relations with US based on mutual respect. That is why, she said, stopping terrorism is in the interest of both Islamabad and Washington. "Coalition and Afghan forces are increasing the pressure on the Taliban in Afghanistan," Hillary said. "And across the border, we look to Pakistan to take strong steps to squeeze militants besides encouraging the Taliban to enter the reconciliation." "We actually want to squeeze militants between the two forces so that they are left with no safe haven to plan attacks from," she said replying to a question of havens in Afghanistan as well. Unlike recent threats of unilateral actions Clinton emphasized on joint actions but with an urgency to do so. To do the needful for end terrorism, she said, "it was not the matter of months and years but we'd have to do it in days and weeks. Describing these actions not just in the interest of Pakistan according to her was a critical country for regional security but also to the peace and stability of the region as well as the world. She said we are not asking Pakistan to sacrifice its own security and we respect Pakistan's sovereignty and the sacrifice of 30,000 killed here in last 10 years by terrorists. "But the militants' save havens must not be protected or tolerated," she rushed to add. "Aid in millions of dollars helped Pak meet energy needs, grow economy, sand strengthening democracy - because we believe thriving Pakistan is good for the world. We will continue to support Pakistan's elected government and its people", Clinton said Pakistan leaders have to follow through the path of solving problems of corruption and delivering real results. And it's up to citizens of Pakistan to demand those results. She welcomed Pakistan and India trade talks and recent signing of Afghan Transit Trade Agreement. "You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite neighbours", Clinton said perhaps referring to what Americans believe as militants sanctuaries inside Pakistan Emphasizing that US is committed to people of Pakistan and its future she said we offer recommendations in the spirit of the friendship that has survived many ups and downs. To a question about the impression of US making Pakistan a scapegoat of its failures, she said, "we are talking about partnership and not what US wants Pakistan to do," she said and added "but this relationship must yield now." "It must deliver results for US and Pakistani people and for the people of entire world," she said adding "differences cannot be resolved in a single visit. Our generations have worked together and the younger generation must be informed about the value of this relationship," she maintained. Describing the talks with the US as positive, Khar said Islamabad and Washington should give peace a chance. She further said that Pakistan wants stability in the region. Khar also said that misunderstandings between Pakistan and the US should be resolved. Asked whether Pakistan was ready to take the lead in Afghan reconciliation process as desired by the US, she said Pakistan's stance has been clear from the beginning. Pakistan would back an Afghan-led reconciliation process. Answering questions from the US media, she said, having suffered losses without parallel for playing as frontline coalition partner Pakistan should not be blamed now being non-serious in this international counter terror effort. Our principles of engagement with rest of the world and future actions in the war on terror would be guided by the resolutions of the All Parties Conference and the Parliament. She said Pakistan needs help in tackling this menace but in terms of trade access and partnership based on mutual respect. "Obviously, we cannot compromise our own security and national interests," she maintained.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 22, 2011
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