President Bill Clinton’s five day visit to India in 2000 followed by a five-hour stopover in Islamabad convinced New Delhi that the world order had changed. Relationships were to be shaped by the new post cold war realities, not old loyalties.
Just in case you did not know, Muammar Qaddafi and Bashar Assad are victims of a media war, relentless, no holds barred.
The most important takeaway from this fascinating snapshot of the ISI, the Taliban, and Pakistan’s view of America and its strategic choices is that Pakistan will never be a predictable puppet of US interests.
If Macbeth is a tragedy of ambition, the last scenes of the Hosni Mubarak saga in Egypt are ending as melodrama on that theme.
The dramatic attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental hotel earlier in the week ties in somewhat convolutedly with the arrest in Karachi in February 2010 of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a Taliban commander.
On July 2, 1999 Sharif called President Clinton and requested him to intervene. The President also consulted with then Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee who clearly stated that India will not negotiate “under the threat of aggression” and that withdrawal of Pakistani forces was essential.
Sharif again called President Clinton on July 3 and told him that he was ready to come to Washington. The President warned him that without agreeing to withdraw Pakistani forces behind the LoC, the visit will not yield any results. Sharif told him that he was coming to the US on July 4.