Moeed Pirzada took an insightful interview with US undersecretary of state Jacob Lew.This provides a clear view of the US engagement policy towards the Pakistani people as envisaged by the Obama administration.
Many doubts and apprehensions were cleared but the sad part is that most of the Pakistani people and many media people have incomplete, uninformed and strange ,often contradictory views about US actions and intentions.This interview may give some education to a few but many more such media information efforts are needed to remove misunderstandings.
The US undersecretary emphasised that economic and social help will be a priority and the administration will be working in future towards engaging the people directly' The Kerry Lugar Bill will also ensure financial asssistance to improve the economic and social indicators in Pakistan. In Frontier province the establishment of RAZs will ensure economic recovery and improvement in poverty alleviation measures. They are linking this with War on Terror as according to them terrorism in these areas is directly linked with poverty and lack of viable economic activity. The US maybe right here but the real results will only come about after action. With regards to Afghanistan such an opportunity was lost by the Bush government as qouted by Mr Hasan Askari. This has worsened the situation in Afghanistan. I hope this does not happen in Pakistan. Post Swat operation a lot of rebuilding of infrastructure is required. Frontier govt., will need much help in this.The sad aspect is that many people in Pakistan are seeing US as the villain and not the other people who have made a real problem for the muslims all over the world in general and Pakistanis in particular.
Mr Jacob emphasised the fact that US will not send in any unlawful force and there is no increase in marines' population in Pakistan.I think the increase or fortification of US embassy maybe only for logistics in relation to their Afghan presence. Pakistanis are seeing conspiracy theories behind such moves and are apprehensive about companies like Blackwater bieng lodged in Pakistan.
Mr Jacob appreciated the Swat operation effort by the Pakistan army.
It remains to be seen what the US engagement with Pakistani people results will be and how fast they are able to achieve them.