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    Clinton to visit India and Bangladesh.

    Clinton to visit India and Bangladesh seeking to improve ties

    President Bill Clinton said Tuesday he would seek to improve ties with India next month during the first trip to New Delhi by a US president in two decades.

    "It is unfortunate that the US has been estranged, if not estranged at least had a distant relationship with India for too long," Clinton said at the White House.

    "We have an enormous common interest in shaping the future with them and I am looking forward to (the visit)," Clinton added.

    Clinton also will become the first US president to visit Bangladesh during his trip to Indian subcontinent in late March, according to a White House statement.

    Of his visit to India, Clinton said: "I am going because it is the biggest democracy in the world and I think we haven't been working with them enough."

    The Indian government said Clinton would visit from March 20 and would travel on to Bangladesh on March 25.

    Clinton was to have visited India in 1998 but was put off the trip due to political uncertainty in New Delhi with the collapse of Gujral government and later in the wake of India's May 1998 nuclear tests. His trip in 1999 was postponed because of Indian elections.

    Who cares! Clinton is a pervert anyway. LOL

    Fata Morgana


      yes fata... .

      [This message has been edited by sabah (edited February 03, 2000).]


        Exactly who cares whether Clinton visits Pakistan. I think it is more importnat for the US if Clinto visits Pakistan, than for Pakistan. Geenerl Musharraf (unlike that idiot traitor Nawaz Sharif) is not bending over backwards or making flattering comments to entice Clinton to visit (or stopover) in Pakistan. Our wise CE knows that the USA cannot ignore a nuclear armed Pakistan, because it is the USA that needs Pakistan for such issues as Nuclear no-proliferation, terrorism, narcotics, fundemetalism and general regional stability. The USA knows that you can only achieve South Asian stability if you engage Pakistan, instead of ignoring it - hence its reluctance to declare Pakistan a terrorist state.

        For too long our corrupt and traitorous politicians from General Zia have believed that the USA must not be offended, and that Pakistan must do everything the USA demands. Now a truly wise foreign policy has been pursued by the new government i.e. by realising that the great powers have to engage Pakistan in a positive manner to get mutual benefit. You cannot have lasting peace in Afghanistan, nuclear restraint, a liberal Islamic regime, a balanced Kashmir settlement etc etc without treating Pakistan as an equal not a pariah.

        It is India that has sold its soul and principles of 52 years in ditching Russia in favour of the USA. But the downside is that increased engagement with America will definetly mean more 'mediation' on the Kashmiri issue (because of the nuclear threat and a strong Pakistani military).


          It will be Clinton’s loss for not to visit Pakistan. Musharraf was going to give him a snow job. But he will make up for that with Vajpai.


            Clinton to Indian subcontinent
            Bangladesh is getting excited as it prepares for the first visit by a U.S. president.
            "We are very happy," Bangladeshi Ambassador K.M. Shehabuddin said yesterday.
            "We think it is great support for our nascent democracy and the democratic institutions which the prime minister, Sheik Hasina, is trying to build up."
            Mr. Clinton will visit Bangladesh on March 25 as part of a South Asia trip that also includes India. He will be the first U.S. president to visit India in 22 years.
            In Bangladesh, he will visit development projects of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, the "microcredit" Grameen Bank, a health project run by a private U.S. relief agency and a women's shelter, Mr. Shehabuddin told The Washington Times' Ben Barber.
            The Clinton visit will also highlight "the enormous investment opportunities that Bangladesh offers and the deep interest of American companies in hydrocarbon areas," he said.
            Mr. Shehabuddin said he was recently told by Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Karl "Rick" Inderfurth that "Bangladesh is a jewel in the crown of South Asia."
            While Pakistan is under military rule, Sri Lanka fights a bloody Tamil insurrection and India is in a nuclear arms race with Pakistan, Bangladesh remains committed to peace, and its economic indicators are positive.
            However the Bangladesh National Party and other opposition parties continue to boycott parliament and carry out periodic "hartals" or violent strikes that aim to paralyze the economy and force Sheik Hasina's ruling Awami League to hold new elections.
            Mr. Clinton will not stay overnight because of the lack of sufficient accommodations for his entourage at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, a diplomatic source reported.
            He will be the first American president to visit India since Jimmy Carter in 1978.
            "I'm going [to India] because it is the biggest democracy in the world, and I think we haven't been working with them enough," Mr. Clinton said.
            "We have an enormous common interest in shaping the future with them."
            His visit to India will begin during the week of March 20, the White House said.


              Pakistani Massis are safe!!!!
              The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


                I am concerned of Sheikh Hasina Wajed and Begum Khaleda.


                  Make sure he does not bring any Cigars in the country. even keep cigarettes and beeris away.
                  The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


                    Turn-the-Other-Cheek Diplomacy
                    By Jim Hoagland, Washington Post

                    Exactly what would it take to get the State Department's South Asia experts to stop promoting an ill-advised trip by President Clinton to Pakistan in March? I shudder to think.

                    Pakistani help to terrorists does not seem to be enough to overcome the peculiar turn-the-other-cheek style of diplomacy that has flourished in this presidency. It seems in fact to whet the appetite of some to throw the president at the world's most dangerous confrontation and see what turns up.

                    Clinton and his aides have been secretly debating for weeks whether he should stop over even briefly at the airport near Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, during a proposed journey to India and Bangladesh in March.

                    The subtle pros of a "heart to heart" chat with Pervez Musharraf, the general who seized power on Oct. 12, were from the outset closely balanced against the obvious cons of security and politics: Pakistan's notorious intelligence services are linked to the murderous Osama bin Laden gang in neighboring Afghanistan, and Musharraf has refused to establish a timetable for a return to democracy.

                    Then came a development that suggests the Pakistanis have been attending the North Korean school of international diplomacy, which stresses that a punch in the nose is the best way to get the Clinton White House to offer you rewards.

                    In December a Kashmiri terrorist group with a long and clear history of support from the Pakistani military and intelligence services hijacked an Indian airliner to obtain the release of a radical Pakistani Islamic cleric, Maulana Masood Azhar. The hijackers made their escape into Pakistan and then returned to Kashmir.

                    Pakistan denies it helped the terrorists plan or carry out this particular hijacking, and the Clinton administration has not been able to develop intelligence to the contrary, State Department spokesman James P. Rubin tells me.

                    But the fingerprints of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency were all over the escape of the hijackers back to Kashmiri territory controlled by Pakistan.

                    So how did Madeleine Albright's State Department react to the obvious? By dispatching Assistant Secretary of State Karl F. Inderfurth to Islamabad last week to tell Musharraf that the option of a presidential visit to Islamabad was still open.

                    True, Inderfurth added that the Pakistanis would have to take steps to clean up their act on terrorism, nuclear testing and a return to civilian rule if they want to see Air Force One descend from the clouds and Clinton sit side by side in a VIP airport lounge with the general whose name George W. Bush could not remember in a television pop quiz.

                    But Inderfurth did not set specific benchmarks of performance in the conversation, and Musharraf did not offer any specific promises to meet U.S. concerns. In the days following the meeting, which was disclosed in the Jan. 25 edition of the New York Times, Afghanistan actually hardened its line against turning bin Laden over for prosecution.

                    Inderfurth's continuing promotion of the Pakistani stopover was apparent in his explanation to the Times of his refusal to offer benchmarks or warnings to Musharraf about the consequences of a failure to crack down on terrorist groups and to defuse tensions with India over Kashmir:

                    "To influence Pakistan on democracy, terrorism and nonproliferation, we have to engage them. Our president is our best engager."

                    That last sentence has to win an award for a political appointee simultaneously buttering up the boss in print and trying to manipulate said boss--in this case the president of the United States--in the cause of making an assistant secretary's life easier with his or her clients.

                    There may also be a more serious hidden agenda at work here. Musharraf, who was born in India and educated in Britain, is a secularist who impresses Western officials with his relative moderation. He appears to be locked in a power struggle with those who represent the darkest side of the Pakistani regime, such as Gen. Mahmoud Ahmed, the director of Inter-Services Intelligence.

                    But a Clinton visit to shore up Musharraf internally is a risky enterprise from every standpoint. Such a ploy oversells the U.S. ability to transform or even moderate a bad situation that seems to be getting worse. Withholding this visit is the minimum that needs to be done to send a message to Pakistan and other regimes that flout international norms and expect to get rewards.

                    Engagement is not a self-contained goal or policy. It has to produce results that advance U.S. interests. Pakistan does not pass that simple test.


                      Not that I really care ..
                      what tests does the US pass
                      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


                        What is the definition of “visit”? Listen guys, if he goes, he goes. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. Anyway, Pakistan is not dying to see Billie the Kid. If it were Kennedy or Roosevelt, (ok not Kennedy) it would be something, but Bill Clinton. Spare me your superpower my az visit. Talk about double standards. Copulation with repressive China is OK, but intimate relations with Pakistan is not. Not only American Politicians not know anything about that region, but also they are downright wrong in this instance. It is in US’ interest to keep a diplomatic counterbalance with both India and Pakistan. By distancing itself from Pakistan, USA is inviting a lot of discharge in sub continent with erected nukes. What do you think Fraudia?


                          What do I think? hmmmm well in China's case is diff because they paid to get slick willie elected thats why the nuclear technology secrets were "smuggled" out so conveniently..

                          the country that sells its prisoner's organs and has a stellar record for every human rights issue..enjoys a preferred nation status.

                          Remind me to ask Musharraf to send a check for Gore's campaign.

                          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


                            I dont this we are talking about a person named Clinton but US president. No one cares if Clinton goes only to India after his presidentship on a personal trip.

                            Why is Pakistan so much lobbying for his visit. Maleeha Lodhi and Benazir Bhutto have personally requested him. Musharraf has declared that it would affect peace process.

                            Dallas Morning News had an editorial on whether Clinton should visit or not.

                            Unless it abjures terror, Clinton should not go


                            That Pakistan supports international terrorism is not in doubt. Even before the October military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the South Asian country backed Afghanistan's Taliban regime, which harbors Osama bin Laden, the Saudi renegade wanted for the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Both Pakistan and the Taliban support radical Islamic groups trying to conquer Indian-held Kashmir. And the Pakistani military supports the group that hijacked an Indian commercial jet in December, U.S. officials believe. The only questions are whether the United States should officially declare Pakistan a terrorist state in the same category as Iraq and Iran and whether President Clinton should shun Pakistan during his trip to South Asia in March.

                            The risks of Mr. Clinton attaching the scarlet letter T to Pakistan and of shunning it while during the same journey visiting Pakistan's archenemy, India, would be great. U.S. law requires the United States to vote against international loans for countries that it officially deems to support terrorism. If Pakistan should lose access to World Bank and International Monetary Fund credit lines, its already dire economic situation could become terminally bad. Undesirable though military rule in Pakistan is, the political situation there could be worse. The last thing the United States needs is another Iranian-style fundamentalist Islamic regime seething with hatred for the United States. Visiting India without visiting Pakistan would be a severe snub.

                            Mr. Clinton should delay until the last possible minute any decision about whether to visit Pakistan. He should use the possibility of a visit as leverage to extract certain concessions from the military government, such as a firm timetable for restoring democracy, pressure on Afghanistan to surrender Mr. bin Laden to the United States and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Kashmir. If Pakistan satisfies the United States in these areas, Mr. Clinton would be justified in visiting. But if it does not, he should not go. A decision about whether to declare Pakistan a terrorist state likewise depends on the country's responsiveness to U.S. concerns and a clear-sighted evaluation of U.S. strategic interests in the region.

                            "Tilting" between Pakistan and India is a dirty word in the U.S. diplomatic lexicon. Both nuclear-armed states are important to the United States in their own rights, and it would be impolitic for the United States to be seen as taking sides in the bloody dispute over Kashmir. Yet the United States tilted toward Pakistan during the Cold War when that country's support was vital to combating the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan. It may be time to tilt slightly the other way, toward India, a democracy (the world's largest) with which the United States shares other long-term interests and values. More U.S. attention to India is desirable anyway, and it might even serve as a useful counterweight to China's growing bellicosity.

                            Pakistan crossed the line with the airliner hijacking. Unless it changes, and fast, papering over its participation in international terrorism will become an increasingly untenable option.


                              Sorry, was under the impression that Benazir wants Clinton to come but looks like she's desperate to keep Clinton away from Pakistan. Both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir lobby groups are trying to persuade Clinton to not include Pakistan in his India trip.

                              Skip Pakistan, says Benazir to Clinton

                              San Francisco: Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto is in Washington trying to convince Congressmen and Senators that any indication of support from the Clinton administration to the military regime in Pakistan would prove fatal to the hopes of any revival of democracy in the country.

                              Bhutto’s visit comes even as Washington is humming with the activities of India and Pakistan lobby groups, each trying to influence President Clinton on the question of an official trip to Pakistan.

                              On Tuesday, the White House announced President Clinton’s intention to visit India and Bangladesh in the third week of March. While no mention of any official visit to Pakistan was made, administration officials have not categorically ruled out the possibility.

                              Bhutto, who arrived in the US earlier this week, has been busy meeting key legislators and members of both the Senate as well as the House of Representatives over the past couple of days.

                              Sources in Washington said the former Pakistan Prime Minister has been repeatedly telling Congressmen and Senators that the Clinton administration “must not, in any way, provide Pakistan’s ruling military dictatorship with a signal of support.”

                              The announcement of President Clinton’s decision to visit India on March 20 has also kept former Indian minister and member of Parliament, Margaret Alva, busy. Alva, who is in Washington to attend the national congressional prayer breakfast, has been lobbying hard to have Bangalore included on Clinton’s schedule once in India.

                              A confident Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has already announced Clinton’s intention to visit Hyderabad during his trip to India. Naidu broached the subject during a meeting with US treasury secretary Larry Summers during the without mentioning the inclusion of Pakistan in his itinerary.

                              Lodhi said while Washington’s “relations with India and Pakistan should not be a zero-sum game,” the U S “needs to maintain a balance in its relations with those two South Asian States, specially in the strategic, security and non-proliferation areas where the mutual and reciprocal contributions of India and Pakistan are essential for success.”

                              Clinton, in his reply to Lodhi, spoke of how “as a friend, the United States was very disappointed by the setback to Pakistan’s democracy that last year’s military takeover represents.”

                              “We hope that Pakistan will move quickly to return to civilian rule with a democracy that is participatory, accountable and respectful of citizens’ rights, including those of the minority religious communities in Pakistan,” he said.

                              Clinton also bemoaned the situation in Afghanistan, saying “where the United States and Pakistan once worked so effectively together has fallen into disorder and civil war.”

                              He said he hoped “in the coming months we will be able to work together, through a process involving Pakistan and Afghanistan’s other neighbours, to see an Afghanistan at peace, no longer a safe haven to terrorists and with a government which more closely represents all Afghans.”

                              Clinton also said the “development of nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems by India and Pakistan has raised the awful spectre of nuclear war to a more clear and present danger than we have seen in many years.”

                              “The United States believes that this competition is fundamentally destructive — not only to internationally shared non-proliferation norms but also to chances for reconciliation between India and Pakistan and for increased economic growth and development in both countries,” he said.

                              “We hope Pakistan will sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and take other steps to reduce this costly and destabilising competition.”