. Military Space News .

Clinton sees shared interest with Pakistan
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) March 21, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States and Pakistan share interests in fighting terrorism after lawmakers in Islamabad issued demands over the troubled relationship.

With relations between the war partners at historic lows, a parliamentary panel on Tuesday unveiled long-awaited recommendations, including an end to US drone strikes and an apology for an air raid that killed 24 Pakistani troops.

Clinton, asked about the demands, declined to respond formally until the report goes before Pakistan's parliament. But she said the United States was committed to an "honest, constructive, mutually beneficial relationship with Pakistan."

"We've been working through these difficulties and challenges. We believe we have shared interests. We believe we have the same enemies," Clinton said at a news conference with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul.

"We believe that it's important to support counter-terrorism against the insurgents who kill and maim tens of thousands of Pakistani people, who send teams across the border to kill and maim people in Afghanistan and to kill and maim our soldiers and others."

Relations between the United States and Pakistan have been in freefall for months, with Islamabad's powerful military livid after US forces found and killed the world's most wanted man Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2.

NATO planes killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border on November 26, leading Islamabad to shut NATO supply routes -- the crux of the two nations' ties since the United States invaded Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

US President Barack Obama voiced regret over the "tragic loss" and said the deaths were unintended, but stopped short of offering an apology, which would likely be politically controversial at home.

The Pakistani panel demanded an apology for the air strikes and taxes on NATO convoys. They also called for an end to drone strikes against militants deep inside Pakistani territory, which US officials consider vital but Pakistan says are blatant violations of its sovereignty.

"We have made it clear we respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan," Clinton said.

"We also respect the democratic process that Pakistan is engaged in. We think it is actually quite significant that the democratically-elected government -- the democratically-elected parliament -- is engaging in these matters."

Clinton's Pakistani counterpart, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, recently accused the United States of flouting its own calls for democracy by refusing to heed appeals from parliament to end drone strikes.

Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think-tank, said that the parliamentary debate could strengthen Pakistan's democratic institutions but that the military -- long the country's chief power-broker -- would have the final say on security issues.

Curtis said that the "cooling-off period" since November had benefits for both countries by allowing a de-escalation of rhetoric. But she said that the United States needed to insist on drone strikes against militants and for answers on how bin Laden lived so long in Pakistan.

"The US also needs to put forward some of its own terms for the relationship. Trust is a two-way street, and US leaders have lost faith in Pakistan's credibility as a reliable counter-terrorism partner," the analyst added.

Amid the tensions, Pakistan has voiced outrage over a proposed congressional resolution by Representative Dana Rohrabacher that would call for self-determination in violence-torn Baluchistan province.

In his latest statement, Rohrabacher called for US-funded Radio Free Asia to start broadcasting in the Baluchi language to provide an outside news source.

"While the government and intelligence services in Pakistan act against the interests of the United States, I believe America can find common ground with the people of South Asia," Rohrabacher said.

The California Republican is known for his outspoken views. The Obama administration has distanced itself from his efforts on Baluchistan, which appear to have limited support in Congress.

Related Links
News From Across The Stans

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Distrust lingers from 'green on blue' Afghan murders
Usbeen Base, Afghanistan (AFP) March 21, 2012
NATO insists that murders of foreign troops by their Afghan colleagues are isolated incidents. But on one French base near Kabul, private doubts linger. Nearly one in five NATO soldiers killed this year have died at the hands of their supposed allies - including six Americans killed during riots against the burning of Korans at a US base last month. On January 20, an Afghan soldier turn ... read more

Northrop Grumman Awarded for Missile Defense C2BMC Contract

Newest US Missile Warning Satellite Exceeding Performance Expectations

Japan says may try to shoot down N. Korean rocket

Northrop Grumman Receives Contract for LAIRCM Missile Defense Systems

Tucson site is largest Raytheon facility to receive a superior rating

Lockheed Martin Upgrades Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System for Naval Air Systems Command

Raytheon Wins $77.9 Million US Army Missile Subsystem Support Contract

Raytheon Awarded US Army Contract to Counter Rockets

NRL Tests Robotic Fueling of Unmanned Surface Vessels

Russia to build mini drone

Israel assesses eye-in-the-sky platforms

Drones may be controlled by gestures

Raytheon to Continue Supporting Coalition Forces' Information-Sharing Computer Network

Northrop Grumman Wins Contract for USAF Command and Control Modernization Program

TacSat-4 Enables Polar Region SatCom Experiment

'See Me' satellites may help ground forces

US Army reviews mental health diagnoses

Peru upgrades air defense with $140M plan

Ethical considerations of military-funded neuroscience

Northrop Grumman Signs Teaming Agreement With Persistent Surveillance Systems

Delhi boosts military spending 17 percent

Prison sentence for espionage scientist

Dassault says profit rises 10%, confident on fighter sales

Europe's armed forces team up on refuelling aircraft

Lavrov: Putin, Obama to meet in May

Ex-spy boss may spill Gadhafi's secrets

Outside View: A bodyguard of lies

US Marines set to arrive in Australia next month

3D-Printer with Nano-Precision

Nano spiral staircases modify light

Are silver nanoparticles harmful?

HyperSolar Discloses Development Plan for Breakthrough Renewable Hydrogen and Natural Gas Technology

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement