End anti-Americanism, Clinton tells Pakistan
28 May, 2011
Islamabad, (IANS) Pakistan should leave its "anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories" as that will help it overcome problems, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bluntly said Friday after arriving here on a previously unannounced visit.
Clinton, who is on a day-long trip, is the most senior US official to visit the country since US commandos sneaked into Pakistan and shot dead Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden May 2.
"America cannot and should not solve Pakistan's problems. But Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make their problems disappear," Clinton told a news conference here.
The US had "tried to be a very good friend" of Pakistan, she said and added: "Pakistan's future is imperatively important for us, and more important for the people of Pakistan themselves."
"We look forward to a strong Pakistan, one which is democratic."
She, however, underlined the need for Pakistan to eliminate "extremists" - a reference to Islamist forces who have significantly stepped up violent attacks since Osama's killing in a hideout in Abbottabad, barely 120 km from Islamabad.
Clinton admitted that the two countries, although allied in the war on terror, had differences.
Earlier, Hillary Clinton discussed security related issues and US-Pakistan ties with President Asif Ali Zardari.
The Clinton-Zardari meeting, held at the President House, lasted for half an hour. It was followed by delegation level talks, an official told the Associated Press of Pakistan.
The Pakistani delegation comprised Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and US Ambassador in Pakistan Cameron Munter represented Washington.
Zardari spoke of his country's sacrifices in war on terror.
He said Pakistan had paid a major price in the fight against terror and noted that terrorism can only be eliminated through joint efforts at regional and international level.
Soon after arriving in the country, Clinton said that Washington had "absolutely no evidence that anyone at the highest level of the Pakistani government" knew where Osama was hiding.
"This was an especially important visit because we have reached a turning point. Osama Bin Laden is dead but Al Qaeda and his syndicate of terror remain a serious threat to us both," BBC quoted Clinton as saying.