Pakistan not doing enough to resolve cross-border terrorism: Hillary Clinton
Pakistan is not helping enough with resolving issues related to cross-border terrorism and issues faced by its neighbour Afghanistan, said former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the India Today Conclave 2018.
Responding to a question by Editor-in-Chief of India Today Group Aroon Purie on the crisis surrounding Afghanistan, Hillary said that the country has been under pressure from all sides.
The former first lady of United States said that Afghanistan is presently facing the continuance of Taliban regime and more worrisome presence of the Islamic State. She added that Pakistan continues to play a very negative role in trying to deal with terrorism within its own territory and across the border.
When asked if America is ever going to win the great battle in Afghanistan, Hillary said that it was an ongoing disappointment because the country has not been able to attain the level of stability that it was seeking.
Speaking about the president of Afghanistan, Hillary said that she knew President Ashraf Ghani for a long time and that she was aware of his efforts for the betterment of the nation. She said that Ghani was instrumental in putting pillars under the Afghan society when it came to education, employment and giving people a different understanding to make Afghanistan a more successful nation.
INFLUENCE OF PAKISTAN ::
While talking about the influence of Pakistan on Afghanistan, Hillary recollected her time during the operation to eliminate dreaded terrorist Osama Bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaeda in May 2011.
The former US secretary of state said that she was present in the situation room advising then president Barack Obama on the raid against Laden. She said that it was a tough decision because the intelligence was 40-60 per cent.
Hillary said that the US was aware of the fact that the move would cause a lot of negativity in Pakistan. She added that despite the odds, they had to make the move nonetheless.
She said that she had recommended the president to launch the raid while others had a different opinion. The President however eventually green signaled the raid.
Further talking about Pakistan’s role, Hillary said that the US never actually got much from them in terms of cooperation to help or support in bringing stability in Afghanistan.
ON PAKISTAN’S CROSS-BORDER TERRORISM ::
When asked if there was anything that the US could do to control the cross-border terrorism which India suffers because of Pakistan, Hillary said that US had tried a variety of ways to address it. She said that America even had international troops along the India-Pakistan border.
However, she added that it was impossible to contain the threat owing to the fact there was a safe haven across the border and that Pakistan itself was not providing the consistent support that was required.
Hillary said that she had constant conversations with President Obama when asked about her interaction with the White House about cross-border terrorism.
Hillary, when posed with a question on Pakistan’s cooperation, chose a diplomatic stride. She said that it was never a negative story and that Pakistan had assisted US in identifying terrorists, arresting them and taking action against them.
She said, however, that Pakistan’s cooperation was never enough, but just enough to keep up the momentary engagement and not relevant in terms of resolving the issue in the long run.
AMBIVALENCE IN US FOREIGN POLICY ::
Hillary said that the US was well aware of the trouble Pakistan caused India. The US, she said, is conscious of the existence of forces within Pakistan whose main preoccupation is India. She said that she had visited the Taj Hotel in Mumbai after the gruesome 26/11 terror attack.
While elaborating America’s stand on Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism, Hillary made an anecdotal reference about her meeting with the manager of the Taj Hotel whose wife and child were murdered in the Mumbai terror attack of 2008.
Hillary said that the US has not turned a blind eye to problems caused by Pakistan and it never adopted a strategy that could endanger India. She added that in fact Pakistan itself was ambivalent about the problems within and those across the border in Afghanistan
Source:- India Today