Posted on May 5, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations
28 Comments
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28 responses to “Obama-Zardari-Karzai Summit: What Should They Be Saying To Each Other?”

  1. nusrat bokhari says:

    Mr.Najam, i came up with an article you wrote for the website “chowk” about 10 years back titled “Education Apartheid”
    http://www.chowk.com/articles/4138

    This is such an important issue, which no on seems to be interested in. Can you please write on it again? maybe write also for one of the major dailies? I strongly feel that we cannot go anywhere as a nation until we address this issue. It is an issue of justice and basic human rights, at least in the present age.

    regards

  2. Aqil says:

    One very important point that is missing almost everywhere is the issue of Afghan soil being used to destabilize Pakistan, especially by India. Pakistan needs to play its part by preventing militants from crossing over to Afghanistan and creating chaos there, but the US and Afghanistan also have a responsibility not to let India fund and arm the Baluchistan insurgents and other elements creating trouble in Pakistan.
    This is one point that we Pakistanis should loudly and clearly raise at every available forum, just like we clearly speak against the drone attacks at every opportunity.

    Also, its totally ridiculous how Zardari seems willing to sign a transit trade agreement without asking for any quid pro quo. It makes no sense for us to allow Indian goods to be taken to Afghanistan through Pakistan unless India gives us something concrete in return. We need to conduct our foreign policy professionally rather than unilaterally throwing away major concessions and expecting that sycophancy alone (latest example: Zardari’s ridiculous statement that Hilary Clinton is a beakon of hope for the world) will make others melt and start being generous towards Pakistan. Frankly, I think we are totally screwed in foreign policy under Zardari and the PPP. ZAB would be turning in his grave at this.

  3. ASAD says:

    Good analysis of the trip in THE NEWS:

    The achievements and embarrassments of Zardari visit

    Sunday, May 10, 2009

    By Shaheen Sehbai

    WASHINGTON: Three major outcomes of the bilateral and trilateral summit talks between Presidents Zardari, Obama and Karzai are now becoming visible as officials of the three countries hammer out details of how much money would be poured in, how it would be spent and how it would be monitored.

    According to officials and experts involved in the intense talks and negotiations, the broader picture emerging from the Zardari visit includes the following three conclusions:

    * The tensions in relations between President Asif Zardari and President Karzai of Afghanistan have been removed and both have developed a good and cordial working relationship because both are being asked by President Obama to meet almost similar benchmarks, both are looked at suspiciously and are not fully trusted with money and both are believed to be unpopular and weak. In fact in so many ways, President Zardari has been forced to stand in the much smaller league of Karzai.

    * The Americans have decided to pump in a lot of money into Pakistan, almost 1.9 billion dollars into non-military development sectors this year and $ 1.5 billion annually later. The Congress and the Executive Branch agree on this and the process of authorisations will move quickly through the House and Senate and the president will sign the laws without any delay. But the Pakistanis have been forced to accept a disbursement and oversight mechanism which will be very different from the years of General Musharraf when dollars were sent and no one knew where they were being spent.

    * The Americans have succeeded, almost, in convincing President Zardari and to a great degree the Pakistan Army, that India is not playing a negative role in Afghanistan and Pakistan should not be unduly concerned. The Indian role, the Americans tried to assure the Pakistanis, was one to help both Afghanistan and Pakistan to overcome the Taliban menace and not to weaken Pakistan.

    These three larger outcomes have a lot of highly controversial and even outrightly embarrassing details which the Pakistanis may find hard to explain to their domestic critics and experts. The devil is in the detail, it is said, and this cliche fits exactly in the current situation.

    On relations between Karzai and Zardari, although it is now certain that Washington will back Karzai for his re-election, many still believe he would be a puppet and not control anyone and anything outside Kabul and his Green Zone. So equating Karzai with President Zardari is basically pulling a democratically-elected president of a vibrant country down to the level of a puppet. Why has President Zardari agreed to come to this level remains to be explained.

    The long standing argument of Pakistan that Karzai should do more to control his border and influx of fighters into Pakistan has apparently been set aside.

    The issue of spending money is more critical and embarrassing. Not only the Americans are going to put a monitoring system in Pakistan, maybe in the American Embassy in Islamabad with an authorised official, the Congress is also insisting on its own oversight.