Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Pakistan yesterday to launch a goodwill blitz on behalf of US-Pakistan relations. Mrs. Clinton is anxious to channel new positive cultural connections to the Pakistan people to augment America’s relationship with the beleguered nation, beyond the usual real news that has made Pakistanis hostile toward being on the receiving end of America's "concerns".
Mrs. Clinton’s three-day mission will be an extraordinary showcase of her skills as an ambassador of American good will towards the afflicted nation. Using a post-surgical metaphor, Clinton said she is realistic about the scope of the problem: “There’s just a lot of scar tissue,” she conceded. She also noted disapprovingly that,“It doesn’t help when we do something like this, and people question our motives.”
Mrs. Clinton’s media show began in Washington before leaving on her three-day tour by providing interviews with Pakistani TV shows, in which she spoke warmly and enthusiastically of Pakistanis, stating that some of her best friends were Pakistanis - going back many years to her university days. She effused about how she adored Pakistani food and fashion.
“I love the food, I wear shalwar kameezes,” she told to Dawn TV, “I mean, give me a seekh kebab and some gow, and I’ll be a happy person.”
She pointed out to the hostile and suspicious recipients of Obama's "Af-Pak" policy that she and Bill used to get her Pakistani intimates to bring Pakistani food to the White House.
Her message to the Pakistani people is decidedly personal and pastoral: that they have real friends in the administration including President Obama, who she said also had warm ties to Pakistanis.
“We can do much more through the media to counter some of the myths and misperceptions,” said the Secretary of State. She suggested that the Obama government should use the Internet and cellphones to bypass negative media and get its message of warmth to the Pakistani people.
Mrs Clinton characterized her visit's purpose on the way to Pakistan in the plane:“People remember when we try to connect,” she said.