Obama calls Pakistan’s Zardari, assures support

November 9, 2008

 U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has assured Pakistani President Asif Al Zardari of his support for democracy in the frontline nation during a telephone call on Friday, Pakistan’s official state agency said.

 

 

Obama’s conversation was part of a round of phone calls he made to world leaders including Britain, Israel, Japan, Australia, France and Germany, mainly to thank them for their messages of congratulation following his victory.

 

Pakistan’s The News in a report from Washington said Obama conveyed his full support to help Pakistan overcome its financial difficulties as also face down the threat from militants.

 

He said he was keen for better ties between the two allies in the war against militancy and to settle differences arising from U.S. missile strikes inside Pakistan, the newspaper said.

 

The call came days after Pakistan’s leaders told the head of the U.S. central command, General David Petraeus, to stop missile strikes into Pakistan because they were counter-productive and difficult to explain in a democracy..

 

How will this play out? There are lives involved, and if women and children are going to continue to die in these strikes, the cautious enthusiasm with which  Pakistanis have greeted Obama’s ascent to power will quickly dissipate. 

 

Obama himself several times during the campaign said that he was willing to strike targets inside Pakistan if Islamabad was unable or unwilling to do so. Will that hold?

 

 

Meanwhile over the border in New Delhi, the press at least is working itself up into lather over the Obama phone call that never came.  The idea that the U.S. President-elect called leaders of 15 nations and especially Pakistan, and not Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, doesn’t help advance India’s great power ambitions.

 

But The Times of India quoted an Indian diplomat as saying that New Delhi shouldn’t be over-reacting, arguing that it should consider itself better off that it was “not in the same crisis league”, referring obviously to Pakistan

 

And in any case, India has cried itself hoarse in the past that U.S. relations with India and Pakistan should not be a zero-sum game. So why this re-hyphenation?

 

 

7 comments

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Obama woos India prior to the election (calls to rediff, long letters to the PM), only to cold-shoulder India right after, and make very prickly remarks just prior to election results. Kind of wonder what Obama is getting at? Why is he stirring things up for no apparent good reason? And I guess India really does not care one way or another. We are used to working hard for what we want, and we don’t take handouts. Indians (NRIs) are good enough as long as they vote for him and help him with campaign funds, but not after. Thanks Obama for your offer of “help”, but stay out of bilateral issues between us and our neighbours.

Posted by KR | Report as abusive

At least President Obama did finally realized the root cause of unrest in the subcontinent region, particularly unrest and mistrust among India/Pakistan on core issue Kashmir. I hope Indian nation will response with a positive attitude and accept struggle of Khasmiri nation. And fulfill the promises of passed resolution of United Nation.
I think , President Obama is stimulated by the struggle of millions of kashmiris who laid down over 100,000 lives in last 10 years seeking independence from india on the bases of core fundamental rule of Democracy. Lets see how Democratic supper power will proceed and how largest and so called champ of democratic nation India will answers to millions of kashmiris pledge of independence in the era of the 21st century of the world, where everyone enjoying the freedom except Kashmiris.

Posted by Khalid Sheikh | Report as abusive

Guys,

Just make sure you tell your politicians to be Smart this time. Just ask for a Advance Payment of $20BN for the mess created in your country. For a change trust the Americans they divorce their partners 4 times in their personal life.Just make sure you don’t use that money at us we may see our taxes going up.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

@Khalid

Yeah, keep dreaming. Americans and Pakis (or muslims) are made for each other. Once they see something they want, they start talking about world peace like it was their jaagir. Laughable to the rest of the world but then again, keep dreaming.

Posted by Nikhil Sharma | Report as abusive

The people of Pakistan are excited about Obama because they are consider him to be a fellow muslim, which may come as news to Obama himself. All television channels are constantly making it a point to refer to Obama’s middle name and emphasise his muslim origins and also considering the fact that his mother had worked in Pakistan for about 5 years.
kashmiris in India danced on the streets when Obama won. they prehaps, want him to take a keen interest in the resolution of this long pending issue.
The time has come to find out if Obama is simply a crafty politician who outmaneuvered his opponents or is a true statesman.

Posted by Sana Javed Qureshi | Report as abusive

He has tried not to display his middle name and has been shy of that.

Important point which is yet to be seen is that, his election marks a total change in world order. Can he deliver for what Saudi’s have paid him and democrats so heavily. They want issue of Israel settled and this will get Saudi’s established as champions of Middle east and arab world which a title earlier Egypt/Turkey/Malasia and then Iraq and now Iran has kept and denied Saudi’s the place they wish as the owner of Islam.

Israel know of this and has made his plans to spoil this, which long McCain tried to utter to comman American that Jews will be in trouble if Obama is selected and persecution of Jews will mark the end of US Hegemony in world as Israel will go solo. Another USSR waiting to happen.

China is the third angle to this and will take charge as the USA breaks, it will not only break it will merge with Canada and Mexico to surge again as Economic power however may be not No.1 Military power.

So Obama can be seen as the first black and last US president as he will bring change to the world order and deliver to his middle name. :)

Posted by Sudhanshu | Report as abusive

It is just a shame that pakistan having so much potential of growth but unable to live up to its potential

Posted by jibby | Report as abusive