‘Pakistan to review options if Obama not positive’ (Lead)

January 21st, 2009 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington/Islamabad, Jan 21 (IANS) Pakistan said Wednesday it would review its options if the Barack Obama administration didn’t adopt a positive policy toward the country, even as the new US president said aid to Pakistan would be linked to the war against terror. “Pakistan hopes that Obama will be more patient while dealing with Pakistan. We will review all options, if Obama does not adopt a positive policy towards us,” Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Hussain Huqqani told Geo TV in Islamabad.

According to the envoy, “Bush was more inclined to Pakistan. Obama should hear us out. He must pay attention to other factors in the region.”

Speaking about Pakistan’s role in the war against terror, Huqqani said that Pakistan was an ally of the US and participating in the war against terror was in its own interest.

The envoy’s comments came hours after Obama unveiled his policy agenda.

“President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will increase non-military aid to Pakistan and hold them accountable for security in the border region with Afghanistan,” the White House said in its foreign policy agenda document released soon after Obama occupied the Oval office.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani military has bristled against suggestions that Islamabad needs to do more in the war against terror, terming the statements as “unhelpful” and saying they must “stop”.

“Such unhelpful statements must be stopped,” Gen. Tariq Majid, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), said in Islamabad.

“Pakistani efforts towards eradication of terrorism are more than that of all the others,” he added, while speaking to Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Rauf Engin Soysal.

Majid is the second most powerful man in the Pakistani armed forces after army chief Gen. Parvez Ashfaq Kayani.

According to Majid, all international players in the war against terror “must come out from the coercive mindset and instead start delivering on the promised capacity assistance to help Pakistan in dealing with the problem”.

Majid also maintained that Pakistan “does not need to prove to anyone its sincerity considering the huge sacrifices it has made and is continuing to make which cannot be matched by any of those players making these demands”.

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