Islamabad no saint in ties with US: Pakistani editorial


Islamabad : “Pakistan has been no saint in the partnership with the US” and the recent increase in tensions between the two countries “appears to be out of the ordinary”, said an editorial in a leading Pakistani daily.

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The editorial in the Dawn newspaper said that the relations between Islamabad and Washington have been “fraught with a certain degree of tension and mutual suspicion. But the spike in tensions between the two countries in recent weeks appears to be out of the ordinary”.

CIA chief Leon Panetta is believed to have warned that “Pakistan will have to learn to accept US/NATO raids from across the Pakistan-Afghan border and ever-increasing drone strikes if Pakistan continues to do little… to shut down the safe havens Afghan-centric militants enjoy in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)”.

The Pakistan Army, on its part, has made its deep unhappiness clear with regard to the helicopter raids.

“That the NATO supply routes through Pakistan have come under attack and the border crossing at Torkham has been closed appear to be part of a larger scheme of Pakistani ‘protest’ against aggressive US action.”

The editorial advises that “the US and Pakistan must desist from the brinkmanship on display at the moment”, adding: “The fact of the matter is that the US, for logistical and strategic reasons, needs Pakistan.”

It went on to say that “Pakistan has been no saint in the partnership with the US; however, if the shoe was on the other foot, the US would likely have made many of the same decisions Pakistan has. The pressure must abate.”