US strikes leave Zardari between proverbial government and a hard place

September 13th, 2008 - 1:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad, Sep 13 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari after getting elected last week has tried to challenge public opinion by declaring the US-led fight against terror as Pakistans own war, but does not enjoy the support in the country, where there is growing anti-American sentiment largely fuelled by the indiscriminate American missile attacks and cross-border incursions.

The democratic government is caught between proverbial government and a hard place, said Tariq Fatemi, a former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington .

Zardari and the Peoples Party want to be tough with the militants but they do not have support in the country, where there is growing anti-American sentiment largely fuelled by the indiscriminate missile attacks and cross-border incursions, he added.

But, Zardaris aides privately admitted the task of selling the alliance with Washington has become much harder as a result of the US incursions into Pakistan . The globeandmail reported.

The biggest opposition group, Nawaz Sharifs party, demanded on Friday that a special session of parliament be convened as the nation is under threat of war from the United States .

Another US attack inside Pakistani territory on Friday has turned up the pressure on the new civilian government and the countrys Army Chief over Islamabad s role in the war on terror.

Heightened tensions between Pakistan and the United States come at a critical time in the anti-terror fight, with NATO forces struggling against a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and admissions by the U.S. military this week that a new strategy is needed to combat militants within Pakistan .

At least 12 people were killed when a suspected US missile struck a home in the village of Tolkhel in the tribal area of North Waziristan , according to reports.

Pakistani public opinion was already strongly opposed to the US air strikes, which have intensified over the past few weeks and killed civilians as well as militants. That anger became uproar after the first ground assault by US commandos onto its soil earlier this month, in South Waziristan . (ANI)

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