From wearing Green attire to visiting Allama iqbal’s mausoleum, Hillary Clinton’s well calculated and sincere gestures in an effort to restore trust deficit that has been widened due to the war against terrorism appreciated through out the country.
Ms. Clinton’s Three-day “charm offensive” to win hearts and minds of Pakistanis sounds quite much successful specially her frank discussions with the civil society, media, parliamentarians, artists, COAS and despite threats her visits to the public places of the most sensitive cities of Pakistan speak volume. On short yet comprehensive trip to Pakistan Ms. Hillary has successfully addressed many issues and misperceptions created between the people of two countries her logical replies to our journalists and intellectuals have helped Pakistanis changing negative views about American policy towards Pakistan; during her sessions with the Pakistani think tanks Ms. Clinton tried her level best to communicate the efforts USA is doing to strengthen Pakistan on various fronts, from the energy sector to education sector, she vowed to help their allies in all genuine causes but what she demanded was transparency, her major concerned was to transparently let US Aid reach to the right avenues.
An interesting situation was created when Hillary posed a question towards audience as how much money US has spent on Swat IDPs resulting pin drop silence in the auditorium, not even from journalists’ panel could anyone come up with the answer which proved her point right. A $ 300 Million aid gone unchecked.
For Americans it’s very frustrating to spend huge amount of money on Pakistan but Pakistanis just don’t know where the money is invested and this is exactly the demand of Obama administration to at least let people of Pakistan aware what US is doing for them and this could only be done through proper accountability which has mentioned in Kerry Lugar Bill.
In response to drone attacks she said there is a war going on there. If we look at what has to be done. Pakistani military using F16s in this war which are even deadlier than drones and in a war forces go after the people who are your enemies, but given the nature to this war, the enemy is very hard to catch who bomb markets of women, shops and schools and winning this war is in Pakistan’s national security interest. A lot of masterminds of insurgency are in the eye of Pakistani military because they know there are certain people who instrument these attacks and frequently move between two borders and there exactly drones help Pakistan with the help of Pakistani intelligence sharing.
In the end she admitted that she loved coming to Pakistan but words are not enough US have to build confidence and trust and I believe they have started out.
The conclusion I have drawn from secretary of states revelations is that Pakistani people have high hopes from US and there is a huge sense of misperception developed between people of Pakistan for the US Government which could only be addressed if Pakistani media and intellectuals play a fair role when reporting US-Pakistan issues and let public know how much America spending on Pakistan.