‘Talks haven’t improved US-Pakistan ties’July 12th, 2011 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, July 12 (IANS) Talks between Pakistan and the US seem to have failed to put their relationship back on track, a leading Pakistani daily said Tuesday.
The ties between Washington and Islamabad became strained following the May 2 killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US commandos.
An editorial in the Dawn Tuesday said: “All signs point to the breakdown of dialogue. While a stream of senior American officials visited Pakistan after the Osama bin Laden raid, talk seems to have failed to put the US-Pakistan relationship back on track.”
“It is now being shaped through a series of tactics that appear to be focused on pressuring and punishing each other publicly rather than working out a feasible compromise that can also tackle the militant and terrorist threats with some degree of success.”
The White House has already announced that it will withhold $800m of military aid.
The editorial said that strains of domestic politics spurs on this public posturing on both sides.
“President Obama is heading into an election year and has come under pressure from Congress to reduce aid to Pakistan; some lawmakers had argued for cutting it off entirely after Bin Laden was found on Pakistani soil. In response, the Pakistan military seeks to reassert its sovereignty in the eyes of an increasingly unsympathetic domestic public.”
It said that this latest move is “more than just swagger, and could have very real implications”.
“The money being withheld apparently includes reimbursements for counterinsurgency expenses as well as counterinsurgency equipment for the Frontier Corps and the military. The loss of this aid could directly impact both Pakistan’s security and that of the US.”
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Tags: al qaeda, american officials, commandos, compromise, domestic politics, election year, military aid, obama, osama bin laden, pakistan military, qaeda leader, reimbursements, signs point, soil, some lawmakers, sovereignty, spurs, strains, swagger, terrorist threats