US drawdown in Afghanistan a 'worry' for Pakistan, ambassador says

One of the concerns for Pakistan is 'how responsible' the US exit from Afghanistan will be, said Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's ambassador to the US, at a Feb. 5 breakfast meeting.

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States speaks at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington DC last week.

Pakistani ambassador Sherry Rehman has served as her nation's top envoy to the United States since November 2011. She was the guest at the Feb. 5 Monitor Breakfast.

Relations between the US and Pakistan:

"This relationship has come a long way from the days of 2011 and early 2012, when it was marked by chronic distrust and periods of crisis management and episodes that left many of us awake at night.... The relationship is now on a stable and, we hope, uphill trajectory."

US drone attacks on suspected Al Qaeda elements in Pakistan:

"We see them as a direct violation of our sovereignty, and we also see them as a violation of international law."

Conjecture that Pakistan's leaders tacitly approve of US drone strikes while publicly denouncing them:

"There is no question of any quiet complicity, no question of wink and nod. This is a parliamentary red line that all government institutions have internalized as policy."

Reaction to the planned US troop drawdown from Afghanistan in 2014:

"There are clear worries ... about how responsible this exit will be. And we are of course invested in ... ensuring that the region remains as stable and as peaceful as possible."

The symbolism of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for advocating female education:

"We are defeminizing poverty.... It is not going to happen overnight.... Women are in positions of leadership and responsibility in many places in Pakistan...."

The film "Zero Dark Thirty" about the raid in Abbottabad targeting Osama bin Laden:

"Oh, it is very zero and very dark. What can I say?"

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