Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Khalid Shameem Wynne has cancelled a visit to the US in a sign of growing tensions between the two anti-terror allies following the death of Osama bin Laden earlier this month.
“General Wynne was scheduled to visit the US from May 22 to May 27, but it was called off due to the ongoing developments,” a military official told The Express Tribune.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said the visit was not possible under the present circumstances when the public sentiments were running high over the US midnight raid that killed the al Qaeda leader.
General Wynne telephoned his US counterpart Admiral Mike Mullen two days back to inform him about the cancellation of the visit, he added.
Another official told AFP that the visit to the US had been at the invitation of Mullen and was scheduled a couple of months ago. Under growing domestic pressure to punish Washington for the Bin Laden raid, the government said on Thursday it would review counter-terrorism cooperation with the US.
It was unclear if the move was intended as a threat, but it showed the extent of the task facing US Senator John Kerry as he prepares to embark on a mission to shore up badly strained ties with Washington’s fractious ally.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2011.
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