ISLAMABAD – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that she had won agreement from Pakistan to take some sort of action against the Haqqani insurgent network, but she suggested the action would not be military in nature, leaving unclear what her high-powered delegation accomplished during its two-day visit here.
“We recognize that military action is very difficult. We have discussed other forms of acting,” Clinton said. She listed greater intelligence cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan and great Pakistani efforts to prevent Haqqani fighters from crossing into Afghanistan as some of those “other forms.”
Clinton, CIA Director David Petraeus and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Islamabad on Thursday after weeks of rising tensions over accusations that Pakistan had supported Haqqani attacks on U.S. targets inside Afghanistan.
Before arriving, Clinton had told reporters that the trio would bring a tough message to Pakistani leaders: Crack down on the Afghan insurgents based on your soil or pay “a very big price.”
But her comments here were much less definitive.
Asked at a “town hall”-style meeting whether she wanted Pakistan to use its military to crush the Haqqani network or force it to come to the negotiating table, Clinton replied: “It’s more the latter.
“We think that Pakistan for a variety of reasons has the capacity to encourage, to push, to squeeze … terrorists, including the Haqqanis and the Afghan Taliban, to be willing to engage in the peace process,” she said. “So that is what we’re looking for.”