Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tri-Lateral Meetings in DC This Week

Zardari's motorcade passed me in downtown DC last night, presumably on their way from the White House to the Bidens' place for dinner. I'd love to be in the room knowing what is really being discussed on the inside, and if all the parties are indeed hopeful and helpful. I have my doubts. I thought this quote from the New York Times was particularly telling:
The other reason why no one wants to talk too much publicly about what the United States wants Pakistan to do is that there is a real difference in the way that the two countries view the insurgency in the western part of Pakistan. While Americans see this as an existential threat to the Pakistani government, Pakistanis look at things differently.
“This situation has been going on for decades,” one Pakistani official explained on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. “These people have always tried to impose Shariah law in the tribal areas.”
The article ends on a hopeful note:
His comments came just after a senior Obama administration official said that the administration believes the Pakistani government is finally starting to come around to the American way of thinking about the nature of the Islamist threat to the Pakistani government, further underscoring the disconnect between the two governments.
We shall see if Pakistan is really starting to come around, or stringing the United States along and doing just enough to ensure that it gets more and more money. 

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