The US supports Pakistan’s sovereignty, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, reminding Islamabad that all sovereign nations carry certain obligations like preventing threats to neighbours and the international community.
“We support Pakistan’s sovereignty, but we are clear that all sovereign nations carry certain obligations: to protect the human rights of their citizens, to control their territory, to prevent threats to their neighbours and the international community,” Clinton told reporters in a joint press availability with her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.
Clinton’s statement came as Khar during her current Washington trip called for an end to the drone strikes alleging that they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The US has ruled out stopping its highly successful drone programme which targets terrorists operating inside the Pakistan tribal areas.
“One thing that does come in the way of us being able to inspire confidence in Pakistanis is the use of unilateral strikes such as drone strikes. Because what that does is, being illegal, being counter-productive — most importantly what it does is that it makes it again your war and not our war,” Khar said.
“It is important that this remain something that the Pakistanis are striving for their own future, and that the Pakistanis should be allowed to look at it that way. We expect from the US a deeper understanding of Pakistan’s priorities, Pakistan’s concerns, Pakistan’s constraints also because I think sometimes we are given an overload of capacity.”
“.....When drone strikes are used, the message that is sent to the Pakistani people is that of United States unilateralism, which is not what it should be and which is not the partnership that we are trying to build,” she said.
Clinton said there is still much to be done.
“But I can assure the people of Pakistan that the United States remains committed to this important relationship. And we are confident we can continue to move forward together, one step at a time, to reach our shared strategic objectives,” she said.