US drones to haunt Pakistan as leaders fail to adopt strong approach

Monday, August 5th, 2013 11:57:09 by

American drones will haunt Pakistan as the new leadership has also failed to come up with a strong approach in recent talks with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

The Foreign Ministry issues routine statements to condemn the American attacks in the tribal regions and some time summon the US envoy to lodge a formal protest.

However the US is not impressed and insists the attacks will continue.

There had been high hopes that Pakistan will come up with a tough stance on the drone strikes in Kerry talks but it was just normal sittings.

The United States blames the Waziristan-based militants for cross- border attacks into Afghanistan on foreign and Afghan forces. Washington said that the Pakistanis have not succeeded in preventing the militants from waging attacks from the Waziristan tribal region that borders Afghanistan.

Washington has ignored calls from Islamabad on drone attacks that mean this covert and CIA-controlled operation will continue and will cause embarrassment for the country and the people.

Pakistan accepts almost all US demands but it is not the case when Islamabad has some demands for Washington. Look at the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is languishing in an American jail on charges of firing and injuring a American soldier in Afghanistan. Many believe the allegation has no worth and that she was convicted only for her anti-US stand.

Our leaders were quick to hand over Ramond Davis, the CIA spy and the brutal murder of two Pakistanis on a crowded Lahore street. The US violated its own laws by not arresting Davis after he was extradited to the US in view of a controversial deal.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with the top civilian and military leaders during his three-day visit to Pakistan last week. Both sides discussed the future relationship with the new government as it was the first high level meeting since the new government has assumed office following the May 11 general elections.

The Foreign Ministry was satisfied at the outcome of Kerry’s visit as the spokesman, Aizaz Chaudhry said the visit has “contributed to bringing back the relations on track.”

He said the main achievement was as the two countries have decided to resume the bilateral “strategic dialogue” after its suspension nearly two years ago. The dialogue had been stopped in late 2011 after NATO fighter jets bombed a Pakistani border post, killing 24 Pakistani soldiers.  

Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said a ministerial-level strategic dialogue will be held in six months on the basis of agreements reached by different working groups.  

Five working groups, including those on energy economic cooperation and counter-terrorism will meet in the next two months and hold hectic discussions on enhancement of cooperation in different fields. 

Kerry had detailed talks with senior civilian and military leaders as well as some opposition political figures on bilateral and regional matters, including the two countries’ role to push for the elusive peace in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistani Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz assured the United States that Pakistan would facilitate the American troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, since it is the shortest and cheapest route.

The United States is already using the route for withdrawing its heavy machinery and military equipment as part of its exit strategy.

The United States will withdraw most of its combat troops from Afghanistan ahead of the 2014 end-game and needs Pakistani routes.

Washington also wants Islamabad’s active role in the Afghan reconciliation efforts by encouraging the Taliban come to the negotiation table in order to find out a political solution to the continuing conflict ahead of the 2014 deadline.

Pakistan reiterated its role in Afghan reconciliation as Americans believes that the country is key to the peace process.

The U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, who accompanied Mr. Kerry, proceeded to Kabul on Friday to brief Afghan leaders about the discussions in Pakistan.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul on Friday, Dobbins urged the Taliban to reopen their office in Qatar, which they closed in June just a day after it was opened.

The Taliban closed its office as a protest against the lowering of their flag and plaque of “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the name it used during its 1992-2011 rule in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government had angrily reacted to the way the Taliban office had been opened and refused to join the talks. Now all eyes are on Pakistan and what it could contribute to help in the revival of the Qatar process by using its influence on the Afghan Taliban.

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