`Joint op against Osama would have been more useful`

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 10:34

Washington: Asserting that al-Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden was an enemy of Pakistan, Pakistani Foreign
Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday said a joint US-Pak operation
to kill him would have been more useful in carrying out the
partnership between the two countries.

"Pakistan has repeatedly said that bin Laden was an
enemy," Khar told MSNBC in an interview.

"Pakistani intelligence; Pakistani military has hunted
down more al-Qaeda operatives than anywhere else in the world.
So, al-Qaeda happens to be an enemy for Pakistan. There is no
denying that," she argued in response to a question.

"However, again, as I mentioned, a joint approach, a
joint operation, would have obviously been much more useful to
carry on the partnership and to carry on efforts to be able to
achieve what I am calling common objectives," she said.

Bin Laden was killed in May 2011 in a covert raid by
special US forces in Pakistan`s garrison town of Abbottabad.

"I think that is what is important: to look at this as a
common objective. To look at us moving towards a common goal
because at the strategic plane, I think United States and
Pakistan agree on what are their goals and objectives. Where
we have differences, which have become apparent in the past
few months, as to what are the tools that should be used to be
able to achieve those end objectives," she said.

War against terrorism, she argued, can`t work without the
ownership of the people.

"It is not working, one, without ownership of the people
of any country, of any place. You can see that in the United
States also," she said.

"When you go to war in a country you have to have
ownership of the people of your country to -- because war is
costly, as it has been for Pakistan. We`ve had losses,
colossal, economically, close to USD 60 billion. We`ve had
losses, colossal, in terms of human life, 30,000 civilians
dead; 10,000 paramilitary and military forces together dead.

All of these and loss to Pakistan`s society, back to
Pakistan`s way of life, has been colossal," she observed.

"Now, with that, with those losses, we have to make sure
that this is not seen to be our participation in what is
considered to be an international effort. Is not seen to be an
effort which is in the unilateral interests of the United
States, but it`s seen to be an effort which is in the mutual
interest of the United States and Pakistan. For that, it is of
course extremely important to be able to build that broad
ownership that is required for any country to be able to be an
effective partner," Khar said.

Khar said the November 26 incident, in which 24 Pakistani
soldiers were killed in a NATO cross border fire, was really
the brink of continuing with a relationship or a partnership
which was increasingly being seen in Pakistan not to be
working for Pakistan.

"I think here in the parliament review therefore, we have
a unique opportunity to put things correctly. I think this is
a unique opportunity to put things right, the type of
opportunity that we haven`t seen many times before," she said.

"What it gives to us in Pakistan and to you in the United
States of America is an opportunity to put this partnership on
a track which is more lasting, which has the ownership of the
people. In that, what we have to be careful about, is that we
are married to the end objective of fighting militants,
extremism in this part of the world," Khar said.

"However, if we are too married or too attached to some
tools which are considered to be violative of Pakistan`s
sovereignty, Pakistan`s territorial integrity, and the whole
spirit of partnership, then I`m afraid we will not meet the
type of success," Khar warned.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 10:33

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