It appears the U.S. is leering towards Pakistan with suspicious eyes after intelligence reports Osama bin Laden was most likely living in a compound in Abbottabad, for close to six years. The White House claims a healthy relationship with Pakistan is vital to U.S. national security. How will the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan change after bin Laden's death — will it improve or deteriorate? And what will Pakistan's new role in the international community be? To help us answer those questions is Munir Akram, former Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations.
In another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency, Taliban militants have taken control of a gateway district close to the Pakistani capital. The district of Buner, home to almost one million, is just seventy miles from Islamabad and leads to speculation that the Taliban could be making plans for a move on the city. This increases concern that the government is unprepared to fend off the strategic advances of the Taliban. Now, U.S. officials are questioning the government's willingness to take on the insurgents. Both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have warned of the consequences, Secretary Clinton went so far as to call it an "existential threat". So is Pakistan fighting for its very existence?
To help us understand the Pakistani point of view of the Taliban insurgency and the government's reaction, we turn to Ambassador Munir Akram. Ambassador Akram was Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations from 2002-2008.
**UPDATE: Pakistani officials and international press outlets are reporting that Taliban militants have begun withdrawing from the Buner district.**
"Pakistan can do without American aid. This is my honest opinion. Whatever money is committed, half the aid comes back to the donors." —Ambassador Munir Akram on U.S. involvement in Pakistan
Watch Secretary of State Clinton's comments on the situation in Pakistan below.
One year has passed since the murder of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Meanwhile, tensions with neighboring India are high and there are reports that Pakistan is redeploying troops to their shared border. Ambassador Munir Akram, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations from Pakistan, joins The Takeaway for an analysis.
"It is important for the leadership in both countries to cool things down." — Ambassador Munir Akram on tensions between India and Pakistan
As India still reels from a series of terrorist attacks that led to standoffs in Mumbai, both authorities and the public are looking for where to point the blame. The former Pakistani ambassador to the U.N. joins The Takeaway to talk about internal turmoil in India, and why it's politically convenient to look for a Pakistani connection. M. J. Gohel, executive director of the Asia-Pacific Foundation, offers his analysis from London.