The US administration headed by Barack Obama is using the same old characters in the war on terrorism, who were used by former US president George W. Bush. The people of tribal areas have the expectations that the new administration will change the characters, but at the moment it seems that it has the same interests. Now this impression is gaining ground in Pakistan that there will be no change in the policies of former president Bush and new US President Barack Obama. Senator John Kerry has visited Peshawar and held meetings with NWFP Governor, who is the controlling authority of tribal areas. It is not yet clear what they have discussed in the meeting. Later, the US Senator has held a meeting with NWFP Chief Minister, who is the administrative head of the province.
Earlier, President Obama has stated that no blank cheque will be given to Pakistani rulers, but the US Senator during his visit to Islamabad and Peshawar has given the blank cheque to the rulers of Pakistan. There is contradiction in the earlier statements of US officials and the present statement of the US Senator. Now the people of Pakistan want a real change in the US policy vis-a-vis Pakistan and tribal areas. Now there should be new people with whom the US officials should hold meetings. Now there must be moderate people, with whom the US can talk. The present rulers of Pakistan are incapable in running the affairs of Pakistan. Now the country is slipping into the hands of terrorists.
Washington will not put any conditions on its aid to Islamabad, but will recommend tools to measure its effectiveness, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said on Monday.
Addressing a press conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after a series of important meetings with top Pakistani officials, Kerry promised that his country's long-term ties with Pakistan would not be defined by response to extremism militancy, but by its focus on the welfare of Pakistani people.He said he would introduce the bill for $1.5 billion annual aid to Pakistan over the next 10 years in the Senate after he returns to the US.
"The focus of the bill is to make it clear to the people of Pakistan that they are at the centre of our policy," he said. "It means that we want to build schools, roads, health clinics and create jobs,"? he said. "It is a clear signal that US values its relationship with Pakistan and seeks long-term relationships not with a single government but with the people."Kerry said the collateral damage in the US drone attacks was unacceptable. He pledged to report Pakistani concerns to the relevant quarters in the US on his return.
"I am confident that people will review it carefully," he said, but also added that terrorism did not begin after the drone attacks.Kerry said he had an excellent meeting with ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha. "He and your government are making enormous efforts to guarantee absolute cooperation and accountability of intelligence efforts in this country," he said.
Qureshi said any differences between the two governments would be resolved through consultations.
Earlier, John Kerry met President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Zardari stressed the need to expedite the establishment of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones in the Tribal Areas. Gilani said there was a need to work on the trust deficit between Washington and Islamabad.