30 July, 2021

Blunt Talk And After

'Pakistan needs to put stability before taking on the world. If his visit bolsters this view, I'm glad Clinton came.

Blunt Talk And After

President Clinton spent five days in India gushing about its virtues and lauding its leadership role beyond South Asia. He spent five hours in Pakistan warning it not to risk international isolation and become a "failed state". Rebuked by India’s president, he seemed to tread on eggshells in New Delhi. Welcomed by Pakistan’s chief executive, he drove into Islamabad all guns blazing. Many Pakistanis couldn’t believe it - after all, India was a fierce critic of the US during the Cold War and Pakistan its closest ally.

Perhaps Clinton should have been more circumspect in Islamabad and less one-sided in New Delhi. Might not this sudden "shift" in US policy embolden resurgent India to provoke a conflict with prickly Pakistan?

Originally, Clinton was advised not to visit Pakistan as that might be construed as legitimising army rule. But he eventually decided that it’d be better to "engage constructively" with a nuclear-armed military regime that enjoyed popularity at home rather than...

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