Pakistanis burn effigy of Hillary Clinton as high-level U.S. delegation tries to convince Islamabad to move against Haqqanis
One can only imagine that the contrast in private and public discourse on this visit with our “Frenemy” and Ally is particularly stark. Whether what is said after the photo-ops will get Islamabad to lift a finger (no, not that finger) is another matter altogether. “Effigy of Hillary Clinton is burned by baying mob in Pakistan after America demands crack down on Islamist militants destabilising Afghanistan,” by Leon Watson for the Daily Mail, October 21:
A mob burned an effigy of Hillary Clinton today after she intensified pressure on Pakistan to crack down on militants destabilising Afghanistan.
The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned America and Pakistan cannot walk away from their relationship despite frustration on both sides.
She said: ‘There is frustration on both sides, which I recognise.
‘We are going to stay the course, and do everything we can to try to overcome the difficulties that we have faced together. Because we both have too much at stake. We cannot walk away.’
For the second time in two days, Clinton pressed Pakistani authorities to step up efforts against the Haqqani militant network, which is based in the country’s rugged tribal region, and is blamed for attacks both inside Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
After leading an unusually large and powerful U.S. delegation, including CIA director David Petraeus and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, for four hours of talks with Pakistani officials last night, Clinton met with Pakistan’s president and foreign minister to make the case.
‘We should be able to agree that for too long extremists have been able to operate here in Pakistan and from Pakistani soil,’ she said. ‘No one who targets innocent civilians, whether they be Pakistanis, Afghans, Americans or anyone else should be tolerated or protected.’
Following Clinton’s comments, protesters belonging to the United Citizen Action group burnt an effigy of the U.S. Secretary of State in Multan, in Pakistan’s Punjab Province.
The U.S. has grown increasingly impatient with Pakistan’s refusal to take military action against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network and its ambivalence, if not hostility, to supporting Afghan attempts to reconcile Taliban fighters into society.
Clinton made clear that that was no longer acceptable while American officials warned if Pakistan continued to balk, the U.S. would act unilaterally to end the militant threat.
‘Pakistan has a critical role to play in supporting Afghan reconciliation and ending the conflict,’ Clinton told reporters at a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
‘We look to Pakistan to take strong steps to deny Afghan insurgents safe havens and to encourage the Taliban to enter negotiations in good faith.’
The Haqqani group is considered the greatest threat to American troops in Afghanistan, and U.S. officials have accused Pakistan’s military spy agency, the ISI, of providing it with support – an allegation denied by Islamabad….