US unilateral strikes have significantly strained ties with anti-terror ally Pak: CSM

September 19th, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Washington , Sept 19 (ANI): For the first time in past seven years, after former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf pledged his countrys support to US-led global war on terror, the Pak-US alliance appears to be under significant strain. Last Tuesday, America ‘’s top military officer Admiral Mike Mullen flew to Islamabad to clam down the increasing anger in Pakistan over the recent increase in US strikes against militants along Pak-Afghan border.

Admiral Mullen’’s need to rush to Pakistan his fifth visit in the past year points to a new and testing phase for the US-Pakistani alliance, said an article in the Christian Science Monitor (CSM).

Earlier this week, Pakistan Army has ordered its troops to fire at US troops in case of incursions from across the Afghan border.

The relationship is increasingly marked by frustration and a lack of trust, said that article.

According to the paper, hitting terror targets on Pakistani soil might send a feeling of insecurity among the militants making the political cost worthwhile, but this is a precarious line to tread, as witnessed by Mullen’’s hastily arranged trip. The Pakistani response to American military operations may have been more vociferous than anticipated, said the article.

This is the toughest period of the seven-year alliance. Each side is testing the waters to see how far it can push the other, it quoted says Moeed Yusuf, an analyst at Boston University , as saying.

Yusuf added: There’’s no room for giving the benefit of the doubt anymore. America ‘’s new aggressiveness in Pakistan comes amid and perhaps because of this declining confidence. Hours after Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, vowed to respect Pakistan ‘’s sovereignty Wednesday, the US launched another missile strike into South Waziristan .

Ahmed Rashid, a political analyst in Lahore , said: The Army has used 80 percent of it to buy weapons better used against India . It has not gone to building up civil society in the tribal areas, it has not gone to changing part of the Pakistani Army to fight an insurgency.

The article added: America is growing impatient with Pakistan ‘’s inability to rein in militants who use the country’’s loosely governed tribal areas as a base to attack Afghanistan . Some 11 billion dollars in American aid to Pakistan intended to build up the Army’’s counterinsurgency capabilities has accomplished little.

Ferdos Wasif, a Lahore resident, said: Trying to overcome terrorism through such tactics will only help in aggravating Pakistani citizens” hatred against the US . She added that the arrival of Mullen instead of a civilian politician shows that America ‘’s interest in Pakistan is only military. (ANI)

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