International Affairs

‘Hilary gets a cold welcome’

ISLAMABAD: Amidst severely strained ties between US-Pak, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on her arrival to Pakistan was given a rather ‘cold welcome’ where no important government official was present at the Chaklala airbase to receive her.

According to diplomatic sources, Chief of Protocol of Foreign Ministry Ghalib Iqbal welcomed Secretary of State Hilary Clinton while there was no senior government official or political leader to welcome her. Even Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and State Minister on Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar were conspicuously absent.

Sources told that even Hillary noticed the visible absence and inquired as to where are the Foreign minister or secretary, which was responded by a ’ silence smile’ on the Chief of Protocol of Foreign Ministry face. Prior to this Foreign Minister or Secretary always used to welcome the US officials, but this time following protocol the government only sent the protocol officer to welcome the US dignitaries

Sources say that such a welcome makes one thing clear that Pakistan wants relations with US on the basis of equality. Earlier, similar thing happened when Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who arrived in the capital on Thursday evening was not given a rousing welcome which indicates things are boiling. The relations between the two countries soured when US made unilateral strikes into Pakistan killing Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden

Meanwhile hue and cry can be heard from all walks of life to decline America’s unnecessary pressure to do more in war against terror. In this regard Naib Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Senator Prof. Khurshid Ahmad has warned the Government that it must implement the resolution of the Parliament in letter and spirit and refuse to submit to the pressures that are being put upon them by Admiral Mullen and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to Senator Khurshid it is a horrifying situation that on the one hand America is violating our sovereignty and strangulating our economy and on the other hand the Pakistan’s political and military leadership seems to be surrendering to American pressure and blackmail. “It is a sad commentary that ramscences of United State’s Helicopter have been handed over to America and now CIA is being given access to the place allegedly used by Usama Bin Ladin”, he pointed out.

“It is time Pakistan must thank America for whatever it has done so far, refuse to take economic and military aid and redesign its relationship with America to protect its own sovereignty, honour and strategic interests and to ensure peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan for the safety of the region”, he emphasized.

“Time has come to tell frankly to America that Pakistani nation is not prepared to continue the client-status and would like to remain friend without surrendering to American demands and tolerating its intervention and manipulations”, he concluded.
Input from Agencies

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Mubashar Nizam

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