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    A cut and paste from Times of India.. could be called sour grapes of different viewpoint.

    Thank God Clinton's stopping in Pak
    By K Subrahmanyam

    NEW DELHI: It can be argued that President Clinton's stopover in Pakistan is not in the long-term interests of the US or even of the Pakistani military regime. But from the Indian point of view, his decision to spend four hours with General Musharraf is the best thing that could have happened.

    Indeed, it is difficult to understand why Indian politicians, bureaucrats and commentators are griping over the US decision. A cold and dispassionate analysis will bring out how a whole range of positive gains are likely to accrue to India. Some of these have already started to emerge.

    The Clinton administration is loudly advertising its stand that the presidential stopover is not intended to confer legitimacy on the Pakistani military regime. If India were to try and convince the world that General Musharraf's regime is illegitimate - which is what the US pronouncements make clear - we would have to spend millions of dollars. Fortunately for us, American officials are likely to repeat this message day in and day out for the next two weeks and no one in the world would be left in any doubt about the illegitimacy of Islamabad's current rulers.

    Secondly, US officials are repeatedly stressing that the Pakistan stopover is intended to press the generals to restore democracy, curb terrorism and restore regional peace and security. In other words, Pakistan has been found delinquent on all these grounds. Headmaster Clinton is stopping over to administer a slap, not visit a friend. A five-day visit to nonaligned India and a four-hour stopover to the country which used to boast of being ``the most allied ally'' send out a loud and clear message to the entire international community.

    A substantial part of Clinton's time would be spent enquiring about the fate of his friend, Nawaz Sharif, the man with whom he signed a joint declaration on July 4, 1999. He would also be interested to know what Gen Musharraf is doing about following up on that declaration.

    In the immediate aftermath of the Clinton stopover, the Pakistani dictator cannot sentence Nawaz Sharif to death, as Gen Zia did to Bhutto. But allowing Sharif to get off with a limited sentence would mean that the generals responsible for his overthrow will live in perpetual unease lest he ever return to power. Last time, the issue was conveniently resolved since Gen Zia was killed in an air crash, the causes of which are as yet unexplained.

    The Clinton stopover in Pakistan could have been claimed as a big diplomatic victory for India if only the Indians had arranged it. But Pakistan has a consistent record of blundering and handing victories to India, as it did in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. New Delhi owes a debt of gratitude to those who arranged the Clinton stopover.

    Khatte Angoor

    But what will Pakistan achieve in Four hours. Like every other international forum or meeting with world leader , Pakistan is going to discuss Kashmir, Kashmir and only Kashmir..

    By the time Clinton arrives, has rivayati pakistani khana-peena, lassi, pan, goes for toilet three hours would pass. Musharraf has one hour to curse India and about Kashmir.

    Else give him chips and dips, then Musharraf and Clinton will have more time to discuss Kashmir.


      Pakistan shooting clouds Clinton's visit
      March 10, 2000
      Web posted at: 10:48 PM HKT (1448 GMT)

      By Tony Karon

      Pakistan isn't exactly making it easy for President Clinton. Only four days after the White House announced it would include a brief stop in Pakistan in the course of the President's visit to India and Bangladesh, one of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's lawyers, Iqbal Raad, was shot dead in broad daylight by unknown gunmen. Nawaz is being tried on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder, for allegedly attempting to prevent a plane carrying current military leader Gen. Parvez Musharraf from landing -- the event that triggered last year's coup. The Friday shooting came a day after Raad had begun to present Nawaz's defense, arguing that the coup plot against him originated after he met with President Clinton last June and agreed to withdraw Pakistani forces who had crossed into Indian territory at Kargil in the disputed territory of Kashmir. Pakistan's military was widely reported to have fiercely opposed the decision to retreat.

      Although the Clinton administration had considered staying away from Pakistan in light of the coup and unhappiness in Washington over Islamabad's efforts in the fight against terrorism, the president elected to go in the belief that a personal relationship with General Musharraf could be critical to resolving future crises in an unstable region -- as his personal relationship with Nawaz had helped end the Kargil standoff. The fact that President Clinton's old friend Nawaz is now saying General Musharraf launched his coup in retaliation for the Pakistani premier's doing Washington's bidding -- and the assassination of his lawyer in mid-argument -- may slow the chemistry between the U.S. president and the Pakistani strongman.


        Ah!.. ya'll deprived hindus still can't digest the fact that Clinton is visiting Pakistan. Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about US president's upcomin' visit cuz it won't have any economical, and long term strategic implications.
        Seems like all the hindus are upset at US president's decision to visit Pakistan as it has left a gouge on Indian policy to portray Pakistan as a rogue nation.
        Now, RAW has resorted to it's evil tactics of carrying out assassinations of prominant Pakistanis. This agenda of creating chaos and
        division will NOT succeed.
        So, don't hang yourself over the fact that Clinton is visiting Pakistan.. as I said who

        [This message has been edited by outlaw (edited March 11, 2000).]



          Clinton rebuffs Musharraf on Pak stopover
          San Francisco: Washington DC on Thursday rebuffed General Pervez Musharraf’s boast that US President Bill Clinton’s decision to stop over in Islamabad was a vindication of the legitimacy of his military government.
          Speaking to reporters on his way to attend a domestic event in the nation’s capital on Thursday, President Clinton said, “I think it would be a mistake not to go (to Pakistan).

          But it would be a grave mistake for people to think that my going represents some sort of endorsement of a non-democratic process which occurred there. That’s not true.”

          Clinton said his decision was “certainly not an endorsement of the military coup”, but “a recognition that America’s interests and values would be advanced if we maintained some contact with and communications with the Pakistani government.”

          White House press secretary Joe Lockhart reiterated that General Musharraf was “wrong” in his assessment that the President’s decision was an endorsement of his military government.

          “I cannot find another way or more emphatic way to say that he is wrong in that statement,” Lockhart said.Responding to news of Clinton’s decision to stop over in Islamabad, General Musharraf had, on Wednesday, said, “It (the trip) vindicates the legitimacy of my government’s stand and gives credence to our aim to put things right in our country.”

          Lockhart retorted, “I think anyone who states that our visit there (to Pakistan) is somehow a validation of the military government there is flat wrong.”He said the President had made the judgment that, given the tensions in the region, it’s important to engage and make the visit.

          “But it is absolutely wrong to read it as any kind of acceptance of the military government. We will continue to promote democracy around the world. We will continue to bring our message when we go to Pakistan about the importance of democratic and constitutional rule,” he added.

          “The visit of the President of the US is not a reward for Pakistan. They may call it that, but it’s not,” state department spokesman James Rubin told reporters at the daily briefing.

          “There is no pre-required, pre-approved, pre-stamped, pre-packaged plan for what interaction the United States government has with countries that undertake coups, or countries where there are violations of democratic practices.

          Instead, what we do is make a judgment, in each case, as to what level of interaction is appropriate, given the national interest,” Mr Rubin said, justifying the decision.

          Mr Clinton said America’s “ability to have a positive influence on the future direction of Pakistan — in terms of the restoration of democracy, in terms of the ultimate resolution of issues in the Indian subcontinent, and in terms of avoiding further dangerous conflicts — will be greater if we maintain our cooperation.”

          “After all, Pakistan was our ally throughout the Cold War. Since I’ve been President, Pakistan on more than one occasion has helped us to arrest terrorists, often at some risk to the regime,” he added.

          Mr Clinton said that it was only after former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met him at the White House on July 4 last year, that Pakistan pulled its troops back from across the Line of Control.Mr Lockhart emphasised that the President “has been very clear on the former Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif), as far as pressing the (military) government there to provide both due process and transparency in that trial.”

          Asked how the President’s visit would impact Indo-US relations, Mr Lockhart said: “We certainly hope the President’s visit (to India) will deepen the relations between the two countries.”

          Saying it had been over 20 years since an American President has visited India, Mr Lockhart added that he hoped that the trip would serve, among other things, to “deepen the friendship among all Indians and all Americans.”

          “India is obviously an important relationship, and important friend to the United States. It is an extremely large democracy, an important country as far as security in that area in the world, and important country as far as economic development around the world which impacts this country,” he said.


            Deewana,.. what' your point, sir? C


              If Clinton thinks that by visiting Pakistan he is not gioing to give legitmacy to Musharraf than what is he doing. If he had visited Pak and not met Musharraf, he could have claimed that. All this is baloney and for domestic consumption, so don't get to excited about it. Mohabbat, you keep saying what will be acheived in four hours, as he will be busy eating. The agenda for such meeting is prepared in advance and the issues to be discussed are listed. So he will not only be eating and yes it is 99% certain that Kashmir will be on the agenda. If you think that Kashmir will not be raised by him in India than you are dreaming.

              Personally I feel that whether he comes or not, will make no difference to Pakistan. One thing is for sure, Musharraf will not handover our country to him like Nawaz did.

              One final point, I find it amazing that whatever the Indians are discussing nawaz's trial seem to be haunting them more than the ordinary Pakistani. Maybe there is a hidden message in there.

              [This message has been edited by ehsan (edited March 11, 2000).]