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Holbrooke wanted $50bn for Pakistan
Source: Dawn News | 07-03-2013

A former US National Security Adviser offered Pakistan an ‘off script’ civilian nuclear deal in exchange for its counter-terrorism cooperation, a former member of Richard Holbrooke’s team wrote on Wednesday.


In an article he wrote for the Foreign Policy magazine, Vali Nasr said his time in the Obama administration “turned out to be a deeply disillusioning experience”.He recalled how former National Security Adviser James Jones travelled to Pakistan for high-level meetings without informing the State Department or Mr Holbrooke, who was the special US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.


He said that during one trip to Pakistan, Gen Jones “went completely off script and promised Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani… a civilian nuclear deal in exchange for Pakistan’s cooperation”.Panic struck the White House. It took a good deal of diplomatic tap-dancing to take that offer off the table.”Mr Nasr said that Mr Holbrooke wanted Washington and the international community to commit $50 billion to stimulate Pakistan’s economic development and convinced former secretary of state Hillary Clinton of forging a strategic partnership with the country.


“The true key to ending the war, Mr Holbrooke often told us, was to change Pakistan… but to convince Pakistan that we meant business, we first had to prove that America was going to stay,” he wrote.Mr Holbrooke understood that the White House, the Pentagon, and the CIA wanted Pakistan to cut ties with the Taliban and do more to fight terrorism. “That would never happen, however, without at least some semblance of a normal relationship between Pakistan and the United States,” Mr Nasr wrote.


He said that in 2009, half the US diplomatic mission in Pakistan worked on intelligence and counter-terrorism rather than diplomacy or development.“The US Consulate in Peshawar was basically bricks shielding antennas. And it paid big dividends,” Mr Nasr wrote.Based on the information it received from intelligence sources, “the Obama administration began carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan on an industrial scale”. 


 

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