The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today stressed that the time has come for Pakistan to make fundamental choice during an interview with Kim Ghattas of BBC.
During the interview, Ms. Clinton stated that the U.S. government has gotten cooperation from Pakistan on some very key counterterrorism objectives, but they cannot any longer tolerate the safe havens that are run out of Pakistan. She cited that there are also safe havens on the other side of the border in Afghanistan, but she added that they are more susceptible to Afghan-U.S. coalition efforts.
“And we want to make it very clear to the Pakistani Government that the time has come for them to make a fundamental choice. They have taken courageous action against the Pakistani Taliban, and they’ve lost 30,000 Pakistanis to terrorism in just 10 years, which is an extraordinary sacrifice. But in our assessment, they can and must do more.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that the U.S. government wants a very open, serious conversation about what they are able to do, what they are willing to do, so that there is no misunderstanding between them.
“We need to simultaneously, as I said at the press conference, be fighting, talking, and building. And in each of those categories, the Pakistanis have a role to play. They can either be helpful, or indifferent, or harmful. And we’re hoping that we can convince them to be helpful in our efforts.” -Ms. Clinton