PROTESTERS: Go, Bush, go! Go, Bush, go!
RAY SUAREZ: Tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged city streets across Pakistan today just hours ahead of President Bush's arrival.
JAVED RAHMED, PAKISTANI CITIZEN: We are against the coming of Bush here, because we hate him, because he's the killer of so many innocent people, so many innocent Muslims. And whatever he has been doing, he was doing against the Muslims.
RAY SUAREZ: In Karachi, police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators trying to march on the U.S. consulate, where a suicide bomber killed an American diplomat and two other people yesterday.
President Bush arrived for meetings with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf amid a third wave of violent protests sweeping this predominantly Muslim nation. The protests have been both anti-American and anti-Western.
Two weeks ago, violent protests against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad left at least three people dead; the cartoons were printed in Danish and European newspapers.
And in January, demonstrations rose against the U.S. missile attack on a suspected Al Qaeda meeting near the Afghan border; at least four Pakistanis were killed in that attack. The target was Al Qaeda's number-two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but he wasn't there.
That air strike stopped what had been a warming trend in Pakistani public opinion toward the U.S., after the U.S. stepped in to aid the victims of last year's earthquake; 70,000 people were killed, 3 million more left homeless. The massive security precautions in Islamabad are a reminder of other tensions surrounding President Bush's first visit to Pakistan, a country the U.S. regards as critical in the war on terror.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Terrorists and killers are not going to prevent me from going to Pakistan. It's -- my trip to Pakistan is an important trip. It's important to talk with President Musharraf about continuing our fight against terrorists.
RAY SUAREZ: For months, there have been reports of Pakistanis sheltering and supporting Taliban militants in Afghanistan. They're accused of conducting attacks and suicide bombings across the border. In addition, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program, A.Q. Kahn, provided clandestine nuclear assistance to both North Korea and Iran.
President Bush came to Islamabad after a visit to India, which included a landmark nuclear agreement with Pakistan's longtime rival. In an interview with Indian television, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made clear the U.S. will not offer Pakistan a matching deal.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: ... and we are working with Pakistan to improve the situation on proliferation there, but this is not the time for such an arrangement with Pakistan. What we have, though, with Pakistan is an excellent relationship.
RAY SUAREZ: India and Pakistan have been at odds for decades and to war three times over the disputed Kashmir region. That and the war on terror are expected to be high on the agenda during President Bush's meetings with Musharraf.
RAY SUAREZ: For more on President Bush's trip and U.S.-Pakistani relations, we get two views. Husain Haqqani was an adviser to three previous Pakistani prime ministers. He's now the director of Boston University's Center for International Relations and a syndicated columnist.
Michael Green is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He served as senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council from January 2004 to December 2005.
Michael Green, as we mentioned in the taped report, there are persistent stories of Pakistani-Afghan rebel cooperation, persistent stories of anti-American demonstrations inside Pakistan. Is Pakistan the ally that both the U.S. president and the Pakistani president say it is?
MICHAEL GREEN: It's not the perfect ally. It's a complicated picture. It's a tough neighborhood. But it is an indispensable ally, if we're going to defeat terror. They're in the front line.
The Taliban had support from the ISI, the intelligence services. President Musharraf after 9/11, when the president said, "You're with us or with the terrorists," made a public stand with the U.S. The terrorists tried to kill him twice.
He's in the fight. He's taken casualties, and he's got his people up in the tribal areas near the Afghan border taking the fight to the Taliban and Al Qaeda targets. But this an area where neither Alexander the Great nor the British were able to fully pacify or control the situation, and it's going to be some time, and it's going to take some urging from the U.S. to keep in the fight.
RAY SUAREZ: Husain Haqqani, same question. Is Pakistan really the ally that both the U.S. and Pakistani leaders say it is?
HUSAIN HAQQANI: Well, the United States has chosen to make General Musharraf an ally. And America's alliance with Pakistan traditionally has only been with the military and a small elite in Pakistan, which has really resulted in a situation in which the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis feel that they do not get any benefit from the alliance, and therefore they tend not to be sympathetic to the alliance.
To complicate matters more, the Pakistani elite and the military sees India as the primary focus of their foreign policy. So the way they see it, America is an ally to help Pakistan redress the imbalance with India. And therefore the objective of Pakistan and the U.S. are almost invariably different. And they are allies, but they are allies who want different things from this alliance.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, just a moment ago, you heard Michael Green mention that, a, it's a tough neighborhood and, b, American needs in the area changed after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
HUSAIN HAQQANI: And Pakistan has been fulfilling some of those needs selectively. General Musharraf and his army are helping in trying to apprehend Al Qaeda personnel, as they see them, but they have done very little against the Taliban. And, of course, homegrown Pakistani terrorist groups have more or less been absolved of any clearing up that General Musharraf may have wanted to do.
So U.S. objectives do change. And the Pakistanis have actually developed the art of keeping the glass half-full so that the Americans don't give up on Pakistan, but at the same time, they almost never fulfill America's objectives fully and never get their own objectives completely either.
RAY SUAREZ: So you're suggesting that it's not a reflection of the entire Pakistani nation's national will to help put out the terrorist fires in this part of the world and, by doing so, help the United States?
HUSAIN HAQQANI: I think that an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis have a different worldview. There are those who would like Pakistan to compete with India. There are those who would like to put up a fight in Kashmir against India. There are those who would want a pro-Pakistan government in Afghanistan. And there are those who basically want democracy within the country and want to get on with their own life.
And none of them feel completely satisfied with the fact that American backing only shores up General Musharraf and does not bring them any particular benefits.
RAY SUAREZ: Michael Green, how do you respond to that?
MICHAEL GREEN: Well, it is true that, to continue towards a successful future for Pakistan, President Musharraf is going to have to do more to build democracy. He's promised that he will take off his uniform and allow elections in 2007; I think we'll have to hold him to that.
It is true that we're going to have to keep him in the fight and keep encouraging him to go after not only the Al Qaeda, but the Taliban leadership in the border near Afghanistan.
But it is also true that President Musharraf has brought 7.5 percent growth for Pakistan. He's brought privatization of major industry and reform, bumper crops this year. So there are benefits flowing down, and that's the right trend across the board.
But for it to be sustainable, he is going to have to do more on the democracy front. He's told President Bush privately and publicly in statements they've made that he's going to keep on that path. And the United States and other countries that want Pakistan to succeed will have to hold them to it.
RAY SUAREZ: But what about Husain Haqqani's suggestion that you haven't got the Pakistani national will behind this American alliance or American goals in the area, that there's too many other agendas here?
MICHAEL GREEN: The opinion poll numbers have us pretty low. We were in the 20s. After the earthquake, as your segment suggested, that went up to the high 40s, in terms of support. It's probably gone down again since the attack across the border and the Danish cartoon story recently. So there's always going to be a complex view.
Many of those who are angry at the United States are also angry at the government, and that's why the fact that Pakistan is focusing on economic growth is important, because we want to help them continue down that path. At the same time that Pakistan is going after Al Qaeda targets and the government's going after high-value Taliban targets in the northwest frontier and in the tribal areas, we and other countries are working with the government to build roads, to build schools. That kind of basic support for the needs of the people is going to have to be an important part of that.
I was in that area in September, in the tribal areas. I went to the first of 50 schools that the U.S., Japan, Pakistan are together building. And it was very remarkable to see these students who were there to get an education, but also to get a roof over their heads and some water. Until that point, they'd been going to madrassas, some of them for legitimate religious education, but many of them had been radicalized.
So I think this is going to take sustained commitment from the U.S. and other countries to help build opportunities for people so that, in the future, a large majority support engagement with the West, support this reform. And, as I said, part of that will have to be further steps on democracy.
RAY SUAREZ: Mr. Haqqani, you heard Michael Green suggest that maybe democracy isn't quite there yet, but the country's on the road, that things are trending in the right direction.
HUSAIN HAQQANI: Let me just put things in context: $66 million have been allocated by the U.S. for educational reform; $1 billion have been given to General -- or are being given to General Musharraf for acquiring F-16 aircraft from the United States. That deal is going to go through eventually, from what one hears.
So the point is that just shows the imbalance in the relationship. The relationship basically favors General Musharraf, the Pakistani military, and Pakistan's elite. Every year, 3 percent more Pakistanis are falling below the poverty line; already 33 percent of Pakistanis live below the poverty line.
Yes, there has been economic growth. And, of course, General Musharraf can't claim credit for bumper crops, because they come from good weather and hard work on the part of Pakistani peasants. What he can take credit for is that, because of his alliance with the United States, Pakistan's government was able to reschedule loans, got a lot of external assistance come in, and the macroeconomic framework became favorable.
Unless that growth translates into benefits for the ordinary Pakistani, he will not see this as as positive a development as American officials and President Bush seem to make it out to be.
So while I'm in favor of economic growth, and I agree with Mike that that has been a positive development, I think General Musharraf essentially is more like a Shah figure, in Iran before the revolution, where there's a large number of people down below who are unhappy and American policy is not taking that into consideration at all, while favoring the one person they think is bringing stability to the country.
Secondly, Pakistan may have stability at the superficial level, but there is no certainty. General Musharraf has not promised Pakistanis that he will take off the uniform. Pakistanis have seen three elections under him, two for local government and one for national elections, and all of them were fixed. So they are not sure that he is the man to deliver democracy, whereas the U.S. seems to think that he is.
RAY SUAREZ: Michael Green, since the partition of India, the two countries created, Pakistan and India, have stared at each other across that border and vied with each other for influence in the wider world. What did President Bush's trip to India means to Pakistan?
MICHAEL GREEN: You know, it's interesting. The first few years of the first Bush administration were spent trying to prevent a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, and well over 50 percent of the president's dialogue, or Secretary Powell, or Deputy Secretary Armitage, or others with the leaders of the two countries was aimed at averting a conflict.
Today, we're in a situation where there is a dialogue between the two, the leaders have met, bus routes have opened up so that people can travel more freely.
There is, what some would call, a de-hyphenization of the India-Pakistan policy of the United States, that we're able to, at the same time, build the best relationship we've ever had with India, but also demonstrate to the people of Pakistan that the U.S. is in for the long haul.
One of the frustrations that the people of Pakistan have had with the United States is that we've been a fair-weather friend; we're there when we need them to fight the Soviets, and then we leave. And what people in Pakistan, I think, want to hear is that we're in this for the long haul to help Pakistan succeed.
The commitment to both relationships has not hurt their relationship with each other. In many ways, it may have helped them to get on a better path towards dialogue and trying to begin working on reconciling differences.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, does Pakistan have anything to fear from a tightening relationship between the United States and India?
HUSAIN HAQQANI: I don't think so, but I think General Musharraf and many of his advisers do, because even yesterday General Musharraf said that Pakistan is going to look at various strategic options. And that's why he went to China just before President Bush came to Pakistan.
The problem has been that, in a country where the military rules, the military cannot turn around and say, "We don't have any major fear from the one enemy that we have fought several times." And that is Pakistan's biggest problem.
Pakistan needs to come to terms with the fact that a competition with India is unfeasible for Pakistan and it would be better for Pakistan to become a partner, along with the U.S. and India, in seeking prosperity for its own people.
Pakistan's leadership at the moment, General Musharraf and his allies in Pakistan, have not reached that moment. And I hope that President Bush and his visit can help persuade General Musharraf that Pakistan needs to look at a different world in which Pakistan and India are not eternal rivals, but neighbors who have to learn to live in peace.
RAY SUAREZ: But the scale of the two countries is so different. Can they even hold on to that idea of eternal rivalry?
HUSAIN HAQQANI: It's ironic that people like me argue that the scales are such that Pakistan should not even think of competing with India, but because it's in the institutional interest of the Pakistani military to maintain that illusion. And so they will clutch at any straw.
So, for example, the way the visit of President Bush is being painted in the Pakistani press is that, "Here is our great ally, the United States, coming. And as long as we have good relations with the U.S., we will be able to keep competing with India," and that's not a positive
RAY SUAREZ: Husain Haqqani, Michael Green, thank you both.
MICHAEL GREEN: Thank you.