With Billions In The Balance, Clinton Tells Pakistan To Step It Up

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been in Pakistan this week, and, in a meeting with editors in Lahore, she essentially accused Pakistan's government of knowing where al-Qaeda leaders are and choosing, of their own volition, not to go after them. From Bloomberg:

"Al-Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002," Clinton told a group of editors in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. "I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to. Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable. I don't know."

Clinton has been in Pakistan since Tuesday, on the heels of President Obama's Oct. 15 signing of the Kerry-Lugar bill tripling non-military U.S. aid to Pakistan to $7.5 billion over the next five years--a bill that was met with controversy in Pakistan because of the conditions it set for that aid to be delivered.

One of those conditions is that Pakistan make progress in preventing al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other extremist groups from operating within its borders, along with stipulations that Pakistan's military not support any extremist or terrorist groups, and that the military not "substantially subver[t] the political or judicial processes of Pakistan."

So Clinton's comment sounds like a warning: we know you can do a better job of rooting out al-Qaeda, so do it, or you won't get the money.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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