In Pakistan, the key U.S. diplomat for the region was joined by America’s top military man in calling for more trust between the countries as they fight al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.
Special envoy Richard Holbrooke and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, held talks with Pakistan’s foreign minister. They discussed the sometimes strained U.S.-Pakistani relationship and their goals.
One issue that has caused strains in relations between Pakistan and the United States is the continued and expanding use of American drones — unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft that can track and attack suspected militants. The New York Times reports that U.S. officials want to step up the use of drones in tribal areas of Pakistan near Afghanistan and are also proposing to expand them to Baluchistan to the south — plans that have met resistance from Pakistani officials.
Meanwhile, Pakistan finds itself in the middle of a fierce debate about a video of a young woman being whipped in the Swat Valley, an area the government ceded to the Taliban as part of a peace deal.
Arif Rafiq of World Politics Review joins David Brancaccio to discuss dealings with the Taliban, Holbrooke’s trip to Pakistan and what role Pakistan can play in stabilizing Afghanistan as it deals with its own security issues.