Report: Pakistan rejects U.S. plan, wants drones By Bridget Johnson Posted: 04/08/09 11:56 AM [ET] U.S. envoys met with Pakistani leaders on Tuesday to ensure that the $7.5 billion that President Obama plans to send their way over the next five years will be used to achieve common goals in the fight against extremism. But according to a Pakistani newspaper, regional envoy Richard Holbrooke and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen came up empty-handed and received a "rude shock" when a proposal for joint operations against al Qaeda and Taliban forces in the volatile tribal regions was rejected. Dawn newspaper reported that Pakistan also asked the U.S. to turn over the unmanned drone missions over the territory to them, saying that the drone strikes were fueling extremism. And The Independent published an interview with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday in which he said Pakistan would go after high-value targets on their own if the U.S. would hand over its drone technology and intelligence. "President Obama once said that he would act if we weren't willing and able," Zardari said. "We certainly are willing and with international support we will become even more able." President Obama's plan to battle extremism in Afghanistan includes sinking $1.5 billion each year for the next five years into neighboring Pakistan, up from the current aid of $500 million. But the plan is being watched with a skeptical eye by legislators who doubt the ability of Pakistan â which recently brokered a deal with Taliban in the North-West Frontier Province that allows the militants to impose their brutal interpretation of Islamic law on the populace â to use that money as intended. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said during a hearing last week that there was "ambivalent evidence" to suggest that Pakistan would rein in extremism to America's satisfaction. Mullen and Holbrooke's two days of talks in Pakistan seemed aimed at reassuring those who may doubt the expenditure on an unstable government. "It's got to be that we are supporting Pakistan policies, because if we appear to be buying something they otherwise would not pursue, it is counterproductive," Levin said at the hearing. But support for the Taliban peace deal will be thin considering the human-rights ramifications that come along with it. Two-week-old video from Pakistan's Swat Valley â of which control was relinquished to the Taliban in the peace deal â showed Taliban flogging a 17-year-old girl for reportedly refusing a marriage proposal, drawing outcry from the human-rights community and a muted response from the White House. The human-rights offenses under the new Islamabad-sanctioned Taliban rule could vex Obama's Afghanistan strategy in a manner similar to the way that human-rights concerns in Afghanistan have been among the reasons for NATO's reluctance to contribute troops to Obama's planned surge. A new law in Afghanistan, applying only to the Shiite minority, states that women need "a legitimate purpose" to leave the house and must submit to their husbands' sexual advances. âWe are there to defend universal values and when I see, at the moment, a law threatening to come into effect which fundamentally violates womenâs rights and human rights, that worries me,â NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said at the recent summit where Obama tried to rally more volunteers. âI have a problem to explain to a critical public audience in Europe, be it the UK or elsewhere, why Iâm sending the guys to the Hindu Kush.â Obama has stressed that the aid to Pakistan will come with strings attached and won't be a "blank check." Reacting to the no-blank-check vow, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said during a joint press conference with Holbrooke, "We neither accept nor give one."