“Hillary’s trip to Pakistan is Signifigant,” says Holbrooke; How U.S. Convinced Karazi to “Runoff”‘; Karazi Questions U.S. Partnership; “News” from South Waziristan Battlefield

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Hillary’s Pakistan visit significant, says Holbrooke The announcement of her trip came a day after the US Senate passed a defence spending bill that includes military aid to Pakistan but with restrictions that may upset Pakistani officials who already complain that the Americans are interfering in their internal affairs. The bill imposes limits on how Pakistan gets reimbursed from a $1.6 billion fund used to support countries that help US counter-terror efforts. One provision of it says that aid to Pakistan must not ‘affect the balance of power in the region’ — meaning Pakistan should not use US funding to build up defences against India. It also says the US Defence Department must certify that Pakistan is making ‘concerted efforts’ to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban before it can receive the money. Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming visit to Pakistan will be one of the most important trips she has made since she became the US Secretary of State, says America’s special envoy for the region. ‘And I think the whole world will be watching,’ said Richard Holbrooke. Read the whole story here.

“How They Convinced Karzai”, written by Ahmed Rashid in NY Review of Books says “The final key to this temporary resolution is owed perhaps to the efforts of three dogged Americans. On the ground in Kabul, US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, a six-foot former general and stalwart of the Afghan wars since 2001, and Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spent twenty hours over four days trying to convince Karzai to agree to a re-run. In Washington there was White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: every time he opened his mouth (so Karzai had been assured), his words were coming directly from Obama. What perhaps finally brought Karzai into the real world was Emanuel going public with a statement on October 18—which Kerry had been privately drumming into Karzai for days—that Obama would not commit to sending any more US troops to Afghanistan until there was a “legitimate” and “new” government in Kabul. [Worth a full read here]

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai questioned the reliability of the United States as a partner Sunday, as he fought off criticism of his government’s legitimacy following fraud-marred elections.”Is the United States a reliable partner with Afghanistan? Is the West a reliable partner with Afghanistan?” Karzai asked. “Have we received the commitments that we were given? Have we been treated like a partner?” Karzai said a partnership to him was “where the Afghan lives are respected, where Afghan property is respected, where the Afghan traditions are respected, where we know the direction we are moving to.”

Troops achieve fresh gains in South Waziristan: According to Inter Services Public Relations, troops secured the important Tarkona Narai hill after a 16-hour gunbattle and made gains on the Jandola-Sararogha axis, securing important ridges. Twenty-three terrorists were killed as troops advanced deeper into the Taliban-controlled territory in South Waziristan and captured Gherlama, an important position north of Kotkai, the hometown of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud. [Ed. Note: News from this government source is sometimes inaccurate or overstated, no one knows independently what is happening in South Waziristan.]
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Take Action Now:
Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: Stop the South Waziristan War and don’t attack Quetta, End the War(s).

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

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