“Excellency you are not a simple politician but a political magician and I am deeply impressed by your way of governance.”

–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

to PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, 2009.

During her visit to Pakistan in 2009, in her numerous meetings with civil society leaders, students, journalists, and other citizens, Clinton faced mounting criticism for US foreign policy, as well as accusations that Washington is meddling in Pakistani affairs. Meddling in Pakistan was and is nothing though, and it is not like our top leadership was resistant to the idea of meddling. The meddling bought it millions of dollars in aid under the Kerry-Lugar Bill.

However, the true highlight of the trip was Ms Clinton’s saying Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani the “magician of politics” when she heard that he was unanimously elected as the leader of the house in parliament last year and was running the house with consensus since then with the confidence of the establishment and the masses alike. The quote above was just the icing on the sarcasm flavoured cake.

Official statements are critical of Pakistan, they are always well-worded and have a political agenda behind them. These offhand remarks by Clinton make it clear what the American leadership really felt about Pakistan. As much as we love to paint the US as the bad guy, our own politicians are nothing to be too pleased about. It is likely that the US is not fond of any of them, regardless of it being 2009 or 2015, and so any statements will be laced with negativity even if the Pakistan is trying to do a good job on the whole.