The growing distrust of American influence was even more apparent today than usual, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used to occasion of her visit to Pakistan to chastize its government’s action toward al-Qaeda.
“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to,” Clinton declared. The US maintains that al-Qaeda’s leadership eventually moved to Pakistan after the US failed to capture any of them in Afghanistan, but Pakistani officials insist they see no evidence of that being the case.
Pakistani officials, as expected, quickly fired back, saying the comments “suggest a very high degree of insensitivity” considering Pakistan is in the middle of fighting a major war in South Waziristan at the behest of the US government.
In another stop on her visit, Clinton stopped at a Lahore college to deliver a pro-war town hall meeting, again meeting a considerable degree of skepticism from Pakistani students about America’s intentions for the region.
As usual, the comments appeared lost on the Secretary of State, who responded with sloganeering. When asked about whether the US could be trusted as a long term partner given its past abandonment of the region, Clinton declared “it’s difficult to go forward if we’re always looking in the rearview mirror.”