News / Asia

Clinton Urges Pakistan to Act Decisively Against Militancy

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses a news conference with Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff at U. S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 27, 2011.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses a news conference with Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff at U. S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 27, 2011.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, have made an unannounced visit to Pakistan to meet with government and military leaders.  Clinton says U.S.-Pakistani relations are at a turning point following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but that no one in Washington believes Pakistani leaders knew where the al-Qaida leader was hiding.

Speaking after their meetings, both Admiral Mullen and Secretary Clinton stressed that the U.S.-Pakistani partnership must move past the bin Laden raid to continue and intensify the fight against extremists in the region.

Clinton and Mullen flew to Pakistan on short notice for meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Pakistan's military leadership, including the head of military intelligence.

At a news conference, Mullen acknowledged the raid that killed bin Laden caused diplomatic difficulties, and he stressed that closer cooperation is needed.

"Now is not the time for retreat or for recrimination," he said. "Now is the time for action and closer coordination.  For more cooperation, not less.  For the friendship to get stronger, not weaker."

The secretary of state and the top U.S. military officer both said their talks with the Pakistanis were frank and productive, covering increased cooperation in the war against terrorism and extremists, both in Afghanistan and the Pakistani frontier region.

Without referring to suggestions by some in the U.S. Congress of withholding some of the $2.7 billion the United States gives Pakistan each year in security-related aid, Secretary Clinton said the U.S. and Pakistan will continue that important fight as allies:

"We will do our part and we look to the government of Pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead," she said. "Joint action against al-Qaida and its affiliates will make Pakistan, America and the world more secure."

Clinton said public misunderstanding and confusion risks undermining real cooperation between the two countries.  She cited both growing anti-Americanism in Pakistan and public mistrust of Pakistan in the United States.  Answering a Pakistani reporter's question, she said the two nations can move forward only through real transparency:

"Let’s clear away the underbrush. Let’s have the kind of open, candid conversation that you and I are having now, and that we had earlier today. And then let the chips fall where they may.  But let’s not be misinterpreting and misrepresenting each other, because then we can never, ever find common ground," Clinton said.

Since bin Laden had been hiding deep inside Pakistan, there has been widespread skepticism in the West about where Pakistan stands in the war on terrorism.

But Clinton said even if someone in Pakistan knew the al-Qaida leader was here, or perhaps even gave him shelter, there is no evidence that leaders in Islamabad knew the fugitive terrorist chief was living just two hours away from the capital.

"There is absolutely no evidence that anyone at the highest levels of the Pakistani government knew he was living just miles from where we are today," she said.

The secretary of state confirmed that U.S. authorities have now been given access to the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden lived secretly for years, and where he ultimately met his end.

Admiral Mullen and Secretary Clinton said they also discussed with the Pakistanis the need to bring the war in Afghanistan to an end.

Clinton said there is a need for reconciliation with enemy groups that can be brought into the political process in Afghanistan, but that some irreconcilable elements will have to be captured or killed.

She and Mullen also stressed that positive, proactive involvement by Pakistan will be essential to end the Afghan war and regional instability in the near future.




You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More