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This Ambassador Is A Sore For US-Pakistani Relationship

February 8, 2010

By AHMED QURAISHI | WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

“I have a challenge for Ms Patterson today. I challenge her to repeat every single word she said back then and swear it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth … America’s reputation is lying in the lowest gutters in Pakistan at the moment and it can’t sink any lower.”

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Anne W. Patterson is becoming quite controversial. She has overseen the worst spell in the relationship between Washington and Islamabad in sixty years and many say she is responsible for at least some of it. Ties weren’t this bad even when the United States unfairly sanctioned Pakistan in 1990 over its nuclear program.

Mr. Thomas Houlahan, a Washington DC-based expert on Pakistani military issues, accused her in 2008 of conducting ‘bunker diplomacy’—that is, conducting United States diplomacy with Pakistan from the barricaded and isolated confines of her office inside a heavily fortified embassy building which in turn is located inside the isolated Diplomatic Enclave in an outer tip of Pakistan’s federal capital.

Her reports back to Washington are misleading, explained Mr. Houlahan, because she doesn’t really know what Pakistanis are thinking.

For information, Washington’s diplomats in Pakistan have been relying on two things: a pro-US government whose principals owe their power to a deal brokered and guaranteed by the US, and a list of proverbial ‘good guys’ that Ms. Patterson’s Embassy recruited from the media, including retired diplomats, military officers and academia, who could take America’s case to the Pakistani public opinion.

This strategy backfired. Big time.

Failing to see that Pakistanis were asking for respect and not confrontation, she shot alarming reports back to Washington warning of an organized campaign in Pakistani media to assail US reputation.

Getting their cue from Ms. Patterson’s reporting, US government’s spin masters countered by launching an organized campaign within the US media and worldwide, accusing Pakistan of ‘anti-Americanism’.  The accusation was expanded to include harassment of US diplomats and non-issuance of visas to them. Obviously, Ms. Patterson failed to tell people back in Washington that CIA and other intelligence-related personnel where using diplomatic cover under her guidance to spy on Pakistan.

She also might have overlooked another small detail: the US ambassador in Pakistan is a potential suspect in a case of bribing a senior Interior Ministry official in order to get a cache of banned weapons into Pakistan without the knowledge of the country’s intelligence.

The alarm generated by Ms. Patterson and her team led US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to rush to Pakistan in order to counter the Pakistani media, with carefully-orchestrated interviews and public appearances where Ms. Patterson did her best to keep Mrs. Clinton away from the ‘bad guys’. She ensured that her boss never met those commentators and media people who could provide the harsh, but legitimate, viewpoint.

This misrepresentation on the part of Ms. Patterson led someone no less than US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to land in Pakistan making a highly inappropriate statement, where he accused legitimate critics of US policy toward Pakistan of orchestrating an ‘an organized propaganda campaign’.  He probably had no idea that legitimate criticism of policy by Pakistanis claiming they want US not to ignore Pakistani interests did not qualify to be described as ‘an organized propaganda campaign’. 

[There are indications that some Pakistanis in Mr. Zardari’s government, and not just Ms. Patterson, helped create this misperception in Washington. Topping the list of Pakistani suspects is Mr. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s envoy in Washington, a key aide to Mr. Zardari and recently the wizard behind Mr. Zardari’s media outreach campaign. Mr. Haqqani has been quite active behind the scenes in mounting a counterattack on the critics of Mr. Zardari and the critics of US in Pakistan. Recently, large numbers of Pakistani legislators have publicly accused Mr. Haqqani of misusing his official position to poison American perceptions of Pakistan’s military and intelligence.]

So, in essence, Ms. Patterson squandered two great opportunities – the visits of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Gates – to address the concerns of the harshest critics in the Pakistani media. Due to Ms. Patterson’s failure, it fell to the Pakistani military to discuss those concerns with counterparts in the US military and use that channel to convey Pakistan’s legitimate concerns about how the US was ignoring Pakistani strategic interests in the region.

What Ms. Patterson should have helped resolve in the civilian arena was actually tackled, and somewhat resolved, in the military arena. But the damage is done. United States’ combative ambassador in Islamabad has left a permanent scar in the media record of the two countries, with silly accusations of anti-Americanism and harassment of diplomats.

Last year she fired a secret letter to a newspaper to silence Dr. Shireen Mazari, a defense expert and Columbia graduate, leading to a public spat that gave the impression the US ambassador was out to force newspapers to fire critics of US.

AND NOW: YVONNE RIDLEY

In 2008, Ms. Patterson accused ‘irresponsible elements’ in the Pakistani media of spreading lies about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui being in US custody in Afghanistan.

Yesterday, the British journalist who uncovered Dr. Siddiqui’s presence inside US-controlled Bagram basewrote a damning piece showing that Ambassador Patterson basically lied to the Pakistani public in her 2008 letter, which she sent to Pakistani newspapers.

This is what Ms. Ridley has to say about Ms. Patterson:

“Everyone had something to say, everyone that is except the usually verbose US Ambassador Anne Patterson who has spent the last two years briefing against Dr Aafia and her supporters.
This is the same woman who claimed I was a fantasist when I gave a press conference with Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan back in July 2008 revealing the plight of a female prisoner in Bagram called the Grey Lady.
She said I was talking nonsense and stated categorically that the prisoner I referred to as “650” did not exist.
By the end of the month she changed her story and said there had been a female prisoner but that she was most definitely not Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
By that time Aafia had been gunned down at virtually point blank range in an Afghan prison cell jammed full of more than a dozen US soldiers, FBI agents and Afghan police.
Her Excellency briefed the media that the prisoner had wrested an M4 gun from one soldier and fired off two rounds and had to be subdued. The fact these bullets failed to hit a single person in the cell and simply disappeared did not resonate with the diplomat.
In a letter dripping in untruths on August 16 2008 she decried the “erroneous and irresponsible media reports regarding the arrest of MsAafia Siddiqui”. She went on to say: “Unfortunately, there are some who have an interest in simply distorting the facts in an effort to manipulate and inflame public opinion. The truth is never served by sensationalism…”
When Jamaat Islami invited me on a national tour of Pakistan to address people about the continued abuse of Dr Aafia and the truth about her incarceration in Bagram, the US Ambassador continued to issue rebuttals.
She assured us all that Dr Aafia was being treated humanely had been given consular access as set out in international law … hmm. Well I have a challenge for Ms Patterson today. I challenge her to repeat every single word she said back then and swear it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
As Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s trial got underway, the US Ambassador and some of her stooges from the intelligence world laid on a lavish party at the US Embassy in Islamabad for some hand-picked journalists where I’ve no doubt in between the dancing, drinks and music they were carefully briefed about the so-called facts of the case.

 

Interesting that some of the potentially incriminating pictures taken at the private party managed to find the Ambassador was probably hoping to minimize the impact the trial would have on the streets of Pakistan proving that, for the years she has been holed up and barricaded behind concrete bunkers and barbed wire, she has learned nothing about this great country of Pakistan or its people.
One astute Pakistani columnist wrote about her: “The respected lady seems to have forgotten the words of her own country’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865): “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”.

Well I, and many others across the world like me, can’t handle any more lies. America’s reputation is lying in the lowest gutters in Pakistan at the moment and it can’t sink any lower.
The trust has gone, there is only a burning hatred and resentment towards a superpower which sends unmanned drones into villages to slaughter innocents.
It is fair to say that America’s goodwill and credibility is all but washed up with most honest, decent citizens of Pakistan.
And I think even Her Excellency Anne Patterson recognizes that fact which is why she is now keeping her mouth shut.

 

If she has any integrity and any self respect left she should stand before the Pakistan people and ask for their forgiveness for the drone murders, the extra judicial killings, the black operations, the kidnapping, torture and rendition of its citizens, the water-boarding, the bribery, the corruption and, not least of all, the injustice handed out to Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her family.
She should then pick up the phone to the US President and tell him to release Aafia and return Pakistan’s most loved, respected and famous daughter and reunite her with the two children who are still missing.”

 

Far from the way Ms. Patterson portrayal of Pakistanis as a bunch of ‘anti-Americanists’, most Pakistanis believe in the goodness of the American people and that this American here [click to see the video and report] represents America much better than Ms. Patterson has unsuccessfully been trying so far in Pakistan, with all due respect.

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10 comments

  1. Pakistan should Arrest this Bitch and trade her for our sister Afia.


    • Good suggestion Akbar.
      But I think our leaders of even bigger dogs, who are not going to do it.
      Ahhhhhhh our worthless politicians. Allah gharat karey in ko.


      • Believe me Bro. there are a lot of poles in Islamabad waiting for them with the ropes.


    • Hey akbar

      I know a ruler by that name who ruled india…he also banged one of our daughters..how great u people are ..

      Please donate for my toilet as here in India…i cant shit properly …everyday my shit whole is getting larger and I need to shit more…

      Please help!


  2. yes akbar and imran pro us government wont do anything like trading this BITCH it with DR AFIA SIDDIQUE even she comes out of her ambassador home and kills two three or more unarmed Pakistani with a gun in her hand and rehman malik wud come out and say oh they cud be terrorist or security risk threat for the precious ambassador gov was brought by a great game including benazir death and following events


    • Hey salman

      Please donate for my toilet as here in India…i cant shit properly …everyday my shit whole is getting larger and I need to shit more…

      Please help!


  3. Hey latest news on dawns and the nation of lahore website says TTP confirm Hakimullahs death. Good news eh? He was injured in a drone strike and then died…interesting timing to target him…think his foriegn backers had no use for him anymore, if so then their 4th gen warfare game plan has failed!! They could not use TTP. to the degree they wanted and are killing their own assets by drones etc… Because they are a liability or a potential liability..
    The other senario is while ttp is still useful to them.. They are killing them to patch up the trust deficit with pak fauj so as to either
    A:
    get out of afghanistan with pak mediatition
    or
    B:
    quite simply to trick pak for now…and to lie in wait for the right moment to back these terrorist elements again..

    What do u guys think?


  4. Yeah right!! Don’t forget pakistan literally LIVES on US AID. Go figure!!!


    • Yeah but India has everything but YET has NO toilets

      Now where am i supposed to shit….i have such big shit nuggets that when i discard them by ass hole pains….you pakistanis dont understand

      But u will see i will build a VERY BIG TOILET and that also from aid money

      I live to see the day when i can shit in peace in INdia


  5. Even Americans are fed up of this elected government. A really good piece here by Lawrence Lessig.

    How to Get Our Democracy Back

    We should remember what it felt like one year ago, as the ability to recall it emotionally will pass and it is an emotional memory as much as anything else. It was a moment rare in a democracy’s history. The feeling was palpable–to supporters and opponents alike–that something important had happened. America had elected, the young candidate promised, a transformational president. And wrapped in a campaign that had produced the biggest influx of new voters and small-dollar contributions in a generation, the claim seemed credible, almost intoxicating, and just in time.

    et a year into the presidency of Barack Obama, it is already clear that this administration is an opportunity missed. Not because it is too conservative. Not because it is too liberal. But because it is too conventional. Obama has given up the rhetoric of his early campaign–a campaign that promised to “challenge the broken system in Washington” and to “fundamentally change the way Washington works.” Indeed, “fundamental change” is no longer even a hint.

    Instead, we are now seeing the consequences of a decision made at the most vulnerable point of Obama’s campaign–just when it seemed that he might really have beaten the party’s presumed nominee. For at that moment, Obama handed the architecture of his new administration over to a team that thought what America needed most was another Bill Clinton. A team chosen by the brother of one of DC’s most powerful lobbyists, and a White House headed by the quintessential DC politician. A team that could envision nothing more than the ordinary politics of Washington–the kind of politics Obama had called “small.” A team whose imagination–politically–is tiny.

    This administration has not “taken up that fight.” Instead, it has stepped down from the high ground the president occupied on January 20, 2009, and played a political game no different from the one George W. Bush played, or Bill Clinton before him. Obama has accepted the power of the “defenders of the status quo” and simply negotiated with them. “Audacity” fits nothing on the list of last year’s activity, save the suggestion that this is the administration the candidate had promised.

    This is corruption. Not the corruption of bribes, or of any other crime known to Title 18 of the US Code. Instead, it is a corruption of the faith Americans have in this core institution of our democracy. The vast majority of Americans believe money buys results in Congress (88 percent in a recent California poll). And whether that belief is true or not, the damage is the same. The democracy is feigned. A feigned democracy breeds cynicism. Cynicism leads to disengagement. Disengagement leaves the fox guarding the henhouse.

    Full text: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100222/lessig



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