Clinton gets cool reception in Pakistan: US media

Last Updated: Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 21:31

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton received a cool welcome in Pakistan on her recent
trip, mainstream American media reported Saturday adding this is
reflection of the low-ebb in relationship between the two
countries.

"The tension was clear at the start of the first meeting
of the day, with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari. There
were few of the smiles and warm handshakes that usually open
such sitdowns, and reporters were soon shooed out of the
room," `The Wall Street Journal` reported.

The daily said her message was greeted coolly in a
country that was angered by the bin Laden raid and sees itself
as stretched to the limit in fighting extremists that have
sown terror within Pakistan.

"Mrs Clinton was joined in a tense, daylong sweep through
Islamabad by Adm Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff," it said.

Clinton and Mullen are the most senior American officials
to visit Pakistan since the killing of Osama bin Laden at a
compound in Abbottabad.

Clinton, who was travelling in Europe earlier this week,
decided to make the trip only after Pakistan acceded to a list
of demands that included allowing CIA access to bin Laden`s
residential compound in Abbottabad, `The Washington Post`
reported.

"Television video taken at the beginning of the session
indicated a grim atmosphere and none of the usual pleasantries
of diplomatic gatherings.

Administration officials later denied there was tension,"
the daily said.

"But administration officials travelling with Clinton
said that the seriousness of the current crisis had forced
both sides to confront the possible consequences of an
irreconcilable breach and that the talks were marked by a new
level of frankness," said The Washington Post.

"At the presidential palace, a grim-faced Clinton was
heard repeating what she said was President Obama`s "strong
support for the relationship and our commitment to working
with and support for Pakistan, and the recognition of the
sacrifice that is made by your country" in fighting
terrorism," The Boston Globe reported.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 21:31

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