Clin­ton comes to Pak­istan with strong words, cash

Austin American-Statesman - - TUESDAY BRIEFING -

IS­LAM­ABAD — The last time Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton was in Pak­istan, she was asked why the United States per­sisted in killing in­no­cent civil­ians with its se­cret pro­gram of drone strikes. And she spec­u­lated that of­fi­cials in the Pak­istani govern­ment knew the where­abouts of Osama bin Laden and other lead­ers of al Qaeda.

The mood was less charged this time, which may not have been sur­pris­ing, given that Clin­ton brought $500 mil­lion worth of U.S. aid to fix Pak­istan’s power grid and help with wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion.

But the deep gulf of mis­un­der­stand­ing be­tween Pak­istan and the United States was still on dis­play Mon­day, the sec­ond day of Clin­ton’s visit to Is­lam­abad, as she prod­ded Pak­ista­nis to do more against Is­lamic mil­i­tants and ex­plained why the U.S. was re­luc­tant to share nu­clear technology with a coun­try that has a his­tory of pro­lif­er­a­tion.

“It would be very help­ful if we could get them,” Clin­ton said of al Qaeda and bin Laden. “I be­lieve they’re here in Pak­istan.”

Clin­ton of­fered guarded sup­port for peace ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Haqqani net­work and other in­sur­gent groups, but she cau­tioned Afghans and Pak­ista­nis to en­ter such talks with open eyes.

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