Clinton to Pakistan: "Get back to business"
February 23rd, 2012
01:02 PM ET

Clinton to Pakistan: "Get back to business"

By Elise Labott

The United States and Pakistan sought to repair damaged ties ahead of a review by Pakistan's parliament on how the relationship between the two countries should go forward.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar for more than an hour Thursday on the sidelines of a conference in London on Somalia.The meeting was largely symbolic, as Pakistan has in essence halted much of its cooperation with the United States while its parliament reassess future terms of engagement with Washington following the U.S. airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the border with Afghanistan.

Khar told Clinton the parliamentary recommendations would not be unveiled until next month, after the country elects and swears in a new senate, a senior State Department official told reporters after the meeting.

Clinton told the minister the Obama administration respected the Pakistani parliament's right to debate the issue, but said the United States was eager to "get back to business with Pakistan" on issues of shared interest, including counter-terrorism and Afghan reconciliation talks with the Taliban once the review was complete. She also laid out her vision for how the U.S.-Pakistan relationship would look going forward, the official said.

Clinton also floated the idea of high-level visits by officials such as Deputy Secretary Tom Nides and Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, as well possible aid the United States can provide in the future.

The Pakistani government rejected a NATO report that blamed misunderstandings on both sides for the deadly border incident, and closed NATO supply routes across its borders to Afghanistan.

Anti-American sentiment in Pakistan has also been fueled by anger over the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound in Pakistan last May, and continued American drone strikes on targets in the nation.

For its part, Washington has questioned Islamabad's resolve to fight extremism, and has slashed military aid to Pakistan.

A classified NATO report leaked earlier this month said Pakistan's secret services are assisting the Taliban in carrying out attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan, a charge Khar said was false. U.S. have officials openly discussed how the Taliban can operate freely from Pakistan.

"From its Pakistani safe havens, the Taliban leadership remains confident of eventual victory," said Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

While Khar told Clinton that Pakistan would welcome a return to working with the United States, the official did not sugar-coat the difficulties of rebuilding the relationship after what is expected to be tough recommendations from parliament.

"They will, I think, very much respect what it is the parliament has to say," she said of Pakistan's civilian government.

Before her meeting with Clinton, Khar told reporters parliament was currently looking at "terms of re-engagement" with the United States.

"We hope that, for the goals that we share that of peace and stability within the region, Pakistan and the United States will be able to foster their ties. However, there are certain pre-conditions for that," Khar said.

She said the United States should work to establish a "predictable, transparent and sustainable" relationship with Pakistan based on both countries' mutual interest.

In the past, "a different type of relationship has been pursued in the dark of night and a different type in daylight," Khar said. "We hope to be able to combine the two and bring this relationship credibility (in the eyes of) the people of Pakistan."

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Joselito

    Rather than recite the ictpyal El Rushbo tripe, why not actually research your points and come up with your own catch phrases?It's obvious that you did not even read Brian's posting. The subject was Limbaugh's response about CNN's lame attempt to run a debate. All you are doing is flaming in an attempt to get a response.

    March 5, 2012 at 12:12 am | Reply
  2. Sayan Majumdar

    Is the event a fashion parade or something…….. Sorry, I got bit disoriented.

    Sayan.

    February 27, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
  3. Basit Ijaz

    Both countries are missing one important opportunity to create new avenues for building a common understanding and sense of purpose: the power of ordinary citizens. To read more about Pakistan from unique perspective visit, http://www.pakistanexaminer.com

    February 26, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
  4. John Conner

    dudes just look at Hilarious Clinton she looks like a GOLUM

    February 24, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
  5. Easton

    for a meeting on somalia, why does it appear there's a red carpet type of entrance set up?

    February 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • Charles Widmore

      looks like the grammy's all over again.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  6. Salman

    I am Pakistani and I think Hillary Clinton is a nice lady. Why didn't you Americans elect her instead of Obama who is worse than Bush.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • Charles Widmore

      a black man or a women?? it was a tough choice.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  7. mipolitic

    ya what is that handshake costing the american tax payers, pakistan cannot account for millions of usa aid that ended up in the hands of the taliban

    February 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Charles Widmore

      3 bil goes to Israel. Just an FYI for the ignorant.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • khanman

      Let's face it. US is not and allly of Pakistan. That is a complete BS. It's a hired gun. There are no free lunches. US must pay for the services to Pakistan. After all it is the US war on terror not Pakistan's war. In last 11 years of US war on terror. Pakistan has lost over 100Billions and collapsed economy, 35 thousand civilian dead, 6 thousands soldier’s dead, 4 million internally displaced people. Pakistan has already paid a very heavy price. America owes a lot to Pakistan and so stop whining about PEANUT AID.

      February 23, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  8. A Pissin'-on-the-dead-kinda-guy

    Two-faced, hypocritical, lying cunt.

    And I'm not talking about the one on the right.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • Pakistani

      Indeed she is, but so is the rest of America.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
      • A Pissin'-on-the-dead-kinda-guy

        Hahahahaha!!!!

        February 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Charles Widmore

      I would say that goes for every politician on the planet.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.