Islamabad: The often tough talking American
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on Friday left in peals of
laughter after a Pakistani woman today compared the US to a
"We all know that the whole of Pakistan is facing the
brunt of whatever is happening and trying to cooperate with
the US, and somehow the US is like a mother-in-law which is
just not satisfied with us," said Shamama, who identified
herself as working with a women`s group in restive northwest
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the Afghan border.
Her comment not only elicited a huge round of applause
from those seated in the town hall here but also from Hillary
who answered back in the same wit.
Hillary, whose daughter Chelsea is married to an
investment banker, said she could personally relate to the
woman`s perspective because she too was a mother-in-law.
"I think that`s a great analogy I have never heard
before," said Hillary adding "Now that I am a mother-in-law, I
totally understand what you`re saying and hope to do better
privately and publicly."
She said "I personally believe this relationship is
critical, important to us both, and therefore we cannot give
it up," and added, "Once a mother-in-law always a
mother-in-law, but perhaps mothers-in-law can learn new ways
Hillary, who was at the town hall for a meeting, is on
two-day visit to Pakistan, alongside CIA chief David
Petraeus and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin
Dempsey in an attempt to improve frayed relationship and nudge
the Pakistanis to act against the Haqqani network.
"We are trying to please you, and every time you come and
visit us you have a new idea and tell us, You are not doing
enough and need to work harder?" said Shamama.
Hillary said she had always tried to be a "good and
honest friend" of Pakistan.
She acknowledged that there "has been and is a trust
deficit" between Pakistan and the US that both sides were
trying to overcome.
"We think it goes in both directions, we don’t think it’s
just one or the other. Both sides have to work harder to
understand the needs, interests and concerns of the other
side," she said.
Hillary made it clear that the time had come for the
people of Pakistan to make some "hard decisions".
She said it was "unbelievable" that only two million out
of Pakistan’s population of 180 million paid income tax.
If everyone in society did not contribute resources,
there would not be adequate funding for key sectors like power
and education, she said.