What can Hillary Clinton achieve in Pakistan?

peshawar So far today, more than 80 people have died in a bomb blast in a market in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. Reports coming in at the time of suggest there will be many more casualties. In the last few weeks several similar attacks have killed more than 200 people. This comes on the day that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Islamabad for a series of talks about building closer ties with Pakistan and tackling the security problem.

But with almost daily attacks on innocent Pakistanis, can the American and Pakistani governments achieve any security at all? As news of the blast broke, many people have reacted on social networks…bilish wrote on Twitter: cont 2 B shocked by the unrest in Pakistan and other messages like this: The streets and bazzars where we used to wander freely are now full of fear…

It raises so many questions about safety, military action and most importantly, what next? Can Hillary Clinton stick to her aim of bringing in support from Pashtun leaders. Can she hope to turn the page as she wishes? This article written a few days ago asks some interesting questions about the whole region, and whether anyone in the international community saw the level and pace of violence coming.

Today, a UN guest house in Kabul has also been attacked and several people killed. How should NATO and Pakistan deal with the Taliban? And does the attack in Peshawar scupper Mrs Clinton’s wish to strengthen the relationship between the US and Pakistan?

38 Responses to “What can Hillary Clinton achieve in Pakistan?”

  1. 1 Hagelslag
    October 28, 2009 at 12:04

    This is not a bomb attack, but a massacre. The Pakistani Taliban or whoever thay are, are continuing to show their barbaric ways. However, despite this attack and the ones to follow; it will not persuade Hilary Clinton or the rest of the Obama administration to losen or remove conditions attached to the Kerry-Lugar Bill.

  2. October 28, 2009 at 12:53

    Odd Man Out!
    TEHRAN – Washington has promised over $7 billion to revamp the infrastructure in Pakistan. The Persian Gulf states are helping.
    We can live with the problems in Afghanistan and help to solve them but what to do with Islamabad?
    India, Afghanistan and Iran have, with justification, accused Pakistan of aiding and abetting terrorism but Islamabad is impervious to criticism or couldn’t care less!

  3. 3 Nigel
    October 28, 2009 at 13:09

    The gap between how the American government and the people of Pakistan view the conflict is still very wide. Mrs. Clinton may be able to make some headway in bullying the Pakistani government with her velvet fist but this will not change the view of the Pakistani people generally. In fact it may worsen it.

    • October 30, 2009 at 11:56

      I agree that the situation will worsen in Pakistan which has been given a kiss of death by American involvement in that country. Nothing positive is likely to come out of her visit to Islamabad. Her visit will be seen as a serious provocation by the all those who are fighting to oust American influence in the region.

  4. October 28, 2009 at 13:15

    Not much can she achieve…
    But Mrs. Clinton’s trip will probably reassure American soldiers working across the region (especially in Afghanistan) that their leaders have not abandoned them in the troubled region, but are working hard to engage with leaders and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions.

  5. 6 seyi
    October 28, 2009 at 13:41

    these terrorists are die-hard.means outside direct warfare should be employed.diplomacy might just be the way out of this ygly mess,military engagement dont seem to work

    October 28, 2009 at 13:56

    Mrs. Clinton may not achieve much and I agree that she will only have a cordial reception with one side. I do not know why the term civil war is not used in the case of Pakistan whereas this is the real issue. Project Pakistan is all about creating a state within a state or if you like creating a mordern state within an old one. It won’t be easy and quick deadlines might be misleading. Pakistan itself was created out of the greater India. The scars are still visible.
    The problem is wider than Islamabad and interlinked and that is why new flashpoints occur soon after one treated and dressed. A new approach is needed with a realistic goal in mind.

  7. October 28, 2009 at 14:00

    Hillary can say nothing that will move the Pakistani people. She might give some interesting sound bites that the west might like, but if the world really wants to fight terrorism, the best thing that they can do is fight the causes that bring people to such ideology – lack of food, opportunities, jobs, etc. This has already been proven over and over to work, and that is something that she cannot do.

  8. October 28, 2009 at 14:02

    She can say OK you win,we will handover the Pashtun speaking parts of Afghanistan to you.

  9. 10 Hagelslag
    October 28, 2009 at 14:12

    Since 5th Oktober until today the number of Pakistanis killed in these such attacks is over 270! Secretary Clinton is going to under the kind of security that the Pakistani people wish they had. However, I wondering what she is going to visit and see when most places will be closed or deserted.

  10. 11 scmehta
    October 28, 2009 at 14:15

    Yes, she can help bring in support, moral & material, from wherever she wants; But, as concerns the support in the thick of this tactical and bloody war against the mindless extremists in Pakistan, the best way out to rout them would be a combined and well coordinated long-term military operation by Pakistan along with some of its bordering countries as well as some of the international forces along the border of Afghanistan; even India and China can be asked to lend a helping hand, any which way it may be required. Since she is already in Pakistan, this is the most opportune moment to work out a strategy, in consultation with President Obama and the heads of the other affected/concerned nations of the region; At least, a start can certainly be made towards implementation of such a strategy.

  11. 12 Roberto
    October 28, 2009 at 14:48

    RE “” Hillary Clinton arrives in Islamabad for a series of talks about building closer ties with Pakistan and tackling the security problem. “”

    ———– Hilary is just there to put some pasties on the unmentionable, the specter of Pakistan swinging over to the “dark side.”

    The “Islamic” part of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is bubbling up to the forefront, so one supposes that the US will be paying them to renounce violence too like they are doing with the Taliban……wait….we are already paying Pakistan…….OK, we’ll just pay them even more to keep their fundie fingers off the nuclear trigger.

  12. 13 Dennis Junior
    October 28, 2009 at 15:05

    How should NATO and Pakistan deal with the Taliban?

    NATO and Pakistan should deal with the Taliban in a severe and harsh fashion…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

    October 28, 2009 at 15:08

    Despite how wanting the situation is, she needs to go there and evaluate the paralell plan which was introduced by her administration. You will recall that Zardari had introduced engagement with tribal area leadership? Someone put online a phone foto of a Taliban punishing a girl and a week later Mrs. Clinton and her support group reversed Zardari’s plan. It was a huge debate here at the WHYS. What followed is massive funds of mobilizing Pakistani troops to combat insurgency in tribal areas. There was massive shelling that brought out a large number of internal refugess. This was an antagonistic move against Zardaris idea who has of late kept a low profile unlike the time we saw him in Washington alongside Karzai both toasting for peace. Given the recent level of violence, she needs to reasure the skeptics whether that plan is still the right one.

  14. 15 Dennis Junior
    October 28, 2009 at 15:13

    And does the attack in Peshawar scupper Mrs Clinton’s wish to strengthen the relationship between the US and Pakistan?

    Technically yes…for the immediate term, but in the long-run it would bring the strengthen the relationship between USA and Pakistan…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  15. 16 seaAdamwestiii
    October 28, 2009 at 15:28

    About the only thing Clinton can say is that we need closer ties with Pakistan and it will be beneficial for the US & Pakistan regarding security. She further stated the US will give Pakistan all the assistance they need. Now, she has said this about five other countries during her last visit.

    I don’t think she should stop there because the longer we engage in Afghanistan there will be so called “Talliban” joining from other Arab countries to defeat the foreigners in the Arab world. Our continuance may bring Iran, Yamen and others to help their Muslim brothers as they are aware many innocent people are being slaughtered. As long as we continue the fight in the Arab world, they will be there to protect their neighbors.

  16. 17 Waqar Mushtaq
    October 28, 2009 at 15:55

    Unfortunately …. Our Country has become the war zone

    It doesn’t matter, who the apponents of the war are. The war zone always get destroyed in these kind of wars

    • 18 nora
      October 28, 2009 at 17:28

      I am so sorry that this suffering hangs over you, Waqar Mushtaq, and I wish peace for the people who are treated like chess pieces by both sides in any conflict.

  17. 19 T
    October 28, 2009 at 16:04

    Hillary Clinton’s delusional if she thinks that the U.S. can buy Pakistani support. The U.S. is essentially bankrupt. Where will they get the funding? From the weak Congress that continues to give Obama a blank check for two illegal wars.

    October 28, 2009 at 16:05

    @ Denis Junior
    A major paradox surrounding our life is the creation of the Devil by God and placing him in our midst where we are in constant combat with him. But, there is a future home for the devil in that story and that is why we are all reasured because of existence of that provision.

    Our own created devil or the Taliban who lives amid the tribes and other good citizens of Pakistan if you like, where is his future home? And where is the road leading to his future home?
    Have you decided his future estate other than confining him to the powder keg where he sees himeself in an elevated status? Where is the world, the hell and heaven in all this? Think about it but, in these heady days, please keep up the fight.

  19. 21 Tom K in Mpls
    October 28, 2009 at 16:32

    First the undeclared civil war needs to be ended. She may be able to help negotiate an end there, maybe. But that is the first step. Then the ISS can quit using groups such as the Taliban as its military. It reminds me of the CIA using the Hmong in Cambodia. It is supposed to be secret and deniable, hey, guys, it doesn’t work.

  20. 22 Anthony
    October 28, 2009 at 16:35

    Now if it was BILL Clinton… THEN things would get taken are of.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  21. 23 John in Salem
    October 28, 2009 at 16:42

    Given that the language of the aid package she carries is a blatant insult to the integrity of the Pakistani government, probably not much. The way it is written is like asking someone at a party, “Have you stopped beating your wife”? – you can’t respond without validating the question.

  22. 24 Livia Varju
    October 28, 2009 at 16:50

    The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan cannot be won since the enemy is brutal and fanatical, fighting for illogical, fanatical ends. The only way to fight this kind of fanaticism is to win hearts and minds and replace harmful ideas with wholesome ones for the benefit of all citizens. To this end, Hillary Clinton should suggest a conference where Muslim clerics from the three above-mentioned countries would be invited and then convinced that warfare and killing is murder and against the teachings of the Koran, and terrorists who attack innocent civilians will burn in Hell.
    Livia Varju

    October 28, 2009 at 17:01

    Pakistani high-level diplomatic meetings…HOPE SHE REMEMBERED TO BRING HER CHECK BOOK! 😦

  24. 26 saad, Pakistan
    October 28, 2009 at 17:09

    Can this war not be won ideologically. Military is not the only solution to win war against terrorism. This war is ideology driven and it can be won ideologically. America should use flexible approach toward Pakistan, because it often dictates Pakistan, and dictation mostly bring the worst results. Pakistan should also boost up economic activities in the region . Only middle approach of, focusing on social and economical uplift of people bringing them in mainstream thus isolating potential terrorists who then can be flushed out with military operation ,can work.

  25. October 28, 2009 at 17:40

    Listen and try to figure out what is really going on in Pakistan. I’m sure Mrs. Clinton has no idea of what to do in order to stabilize the region. What is the basic misunderstanding on all sides. Seems a more rooted, festering problem than all the mear resource wars we have entered in the past.

    It may be all the unsettled issues of World War I that are showing up to trouble the World now that the Godless hordes from U.S.S.R. have been beaten back to reinventing plow shares.

    troop on the Oregon Coast

  26. 28 nora
    October 28, 2009 at 17:41

    The US has a long and twisted history with the Pakistani military elite and innocent people keep paying the price with their lives in greater numbers. The more respected individuals the Secretary meets with and from the broadest sectors, the better. Listening to the suffering of the people could go a long way towards peace. Deviate from plan and meet with any combatant who is ready to talk. Real diplomacy would be amazing.

  27. October 28, 2009 at 19:09

    I never spoke,and she never answered,and so nothing was done. I don’t know what Hillary can do,but talking will help,it is what has advanced the world. When the fighting is done,we still have to talk to each other.

  28. 30 Taufique Ahmed
    October 28, 2009 at 23:42

    Hillary Clinton will achieve nothing as the policies of the Obama administration towards the muslim world has not changed at all despite all the big empty talks. America needs to set its policies independent of pressure from Israel and sort out the mess in the middle east if it is to defeat terrorism. Military might is not the right way and will never succeed despite what a delusional John McCain thinks and says.Taliban and their cohorts in terrirism are a menace to everyone; but defeating them will require winning the hearts and minds of the ordinary people in that part of the world instead of killing them indiscriminately from the air. Also , the underlying , but, not so disguised anti-islamic attitude of western govenments need to change. I shudder at the thought of a religious fundamentalist christian extremist such as Blair being elected as the President of EU. He will do nothing to improve dialogue with the muslim masses.

  29. 31 Tan Boon Tee
    October 29, 2009 at 02:45

    What can she achieve? Practically nothing, except aggravating the situation further.

    She was welcome by more suicide bombings and deaths, thus promoting Peshawar to become the newest killing field.

    Did she not receive the clear signal that the US must leave Pakistan alone? Pakistanis do not want their nation to be another Afghanistan.

  30. October 29, 2009 at 09:10

    well…the visit of Hillary Clinton and specially her appearance to the students today in the GC University would imprint a good impact on the students of Pakistan. Well what she was emphasizing was that we should forget the past and focus on future but its in nature of Pakistani people that past is not forgotten easily!
    What America has done in the past with Pakistan is always there in the minds of Pakistani people.
    America should take some bold steps for Pakistani people so that the image of America is cleared in the minds of Pakistani people, then there will be environment of trust and harmony among both the nations

  31. 33 Jim Newman
    October 29, 2009 at 12:31

    Hello again
    Just more misery for Pakistan.

  32. 34 ash
    October 29, 2009 at 13:29

    Pakistan has remained the fore front of the global terrorism.its duplicity is exposed .USA and the West has failed to understand how Pakistani establishment on one hand pretend to help the west for the fight against islamic terrorism and fight against Al quiada and taliban and recevieing huge amount of financial help from USA and on the other hand Pakistan.s notorious ISI is involved with the help of Pakistani talibans to carry out sucide attacks on Us UK and Nato forces Now due to extreme USA pressure to act firmly against die hard Talibas and al quida Pakistan has started to act against talibans.in return more sucide attacks are in store for Pakistan’s government.Taliban is a creation of Pakistan and now the Gene is out of the bottle to haunt the country.

  33. 35 Muslim
    October 29, 2009 at 15:06

    What can America achieve in Pakistan? More distrust, terror, death, and destruction. The sooner it stops interfering the better. Biased media like the BBC aids the propaganda. The recent on-line article on the Peshawar atrocity (in which the Taliban deny involvement)sums it up when it stated “Our correspondent says the Taliban remain the main suspects, if only because few other groups would have the motive.” Let me suggest two other groups which the biased media conveniantly forget but ordinary Pakistani’s strongly suspect are behind these massacres. These two groups are ideologically-driven, have a long history, are highly sophisticated, trained to create anarchy and death, operate gobally, and are funded by a war-mongering foreign government. They were given free reign to operate in Pakistan from 2001. These type of attacks were virtually unheard of in Pakistan before 2001. Guessed yet? Yes, its the FBI and CIA whose motive is to create public opinion against the Taliban through a dirty war. Look up their history and then look at what’s happening in Pakistan.

  34. 37 David
    October 30, 2009 at 16:21

    I have said many time in this forum that, diplomacy but not destraction is the way forward if you want to achieve prefered outcome

  35. 38 Arshad
    October 30, 2009 at 17:24

    Mrs. Clinton made a remark that she finds it hard to believe that no local leader knew about where Al Qaeda is hiding inside Pakistan.

    The same local leader in the camoflauge of a civilian dress, the same dictator is being invited by the government of the United States of America to give lectures in universities and other intellectual institutions inside USA. We invaded one country to get rid of a dictator. We refuse visa to another, yet we honor Four Tin Star General Pervez Musharraf

    Be your own judge!

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