Pak Government, army undermined by US drone attacks: US report

March 2nd, 2009 - 12:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 2 (ANI): American drone attacks inside Pakistans tribal areas continue to inflame animosity among the people against the United States and undermine both the government and the Pakistani military, a recent report by a major US think-tank has said.

Reviewing the current political and economic problems confronting Pakistan, The Atlantic Council warns: It is our estimate that the Pakistan Government has between 6-12 months to put in place and implement security and economic policies or face the very real prospect of considerable domestic and political turbulence.

The council notes that an apparent tacit understanding between the Pakistan Government and the United States to allow such attacks makes the situation more tenuous and delicate for Islamabad, the Dawn reported.

Senator John Kerry and his former Republican colleague Chuck Hagel, who now heads the Atlantic Council, released the report, which calls for a substantive change in US policies towards Pakistan, jointly.

Continuing Predator attacks are testing the ability of the Pakistani Government to build a consensus for follow-up actions, the report warns.

Indeed, both the PML-N and the religious parties in the government coalition have begun to withdraw their support for Islamabads counter-terrorism policy. So has the ANP government in the NWFP.

The report concedes that the continuation of drone attacks by the Obama Administration has revived public disquiet about this issue in Pakistan.

The council also acknowledges that the US support and aid have historically been inconsistent, with generous assistance when the US needed Pakistan, followed by long periods of sanctions when Pakistan took a more independent stance.

The council acknowledges that the US Congress has been right in asking for accountability of the some 10 billion dollars of Coalition Support Funds and other security related funding made available to the Pakistan Army over the past decade.

The report concedes that one of the reasons for a lack of trust in US-Pakistan relations is that the US has pursued its relations with Pakistan on a transactional and bilateral and not a regional or strategic basis. The report recommends that this should be corrected. (ANI)

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