US administration divided on ties with Pakistan: Report

Some officials in the White House showed a strong US response towards Pakistan, The Washington Post reports.


Afp May 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: The administration of US President Barack Obama is divided over the future of its relationship with Pakistan following the killing of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The newspaper said that some officials, particularly in the White House, have advocated a strong US response.

"You can't continue business as usual," the paper quotes one of several senior administration officials as saying who discussed the sensitive issue only on the condition of anonymity.

"You have to somehow convey to the Pakistanis that they have arrived at a big choice.

"People who were prepared to listen to (Pakistan's) story for a long time are no longer prepared to listen," the official went on to say.

But few officials are willing to consider the alternatives if Pakistan makes the wrong choice, the report said.

Every available option – from limiting US aid and official contacts to unleashing more unilateral ground attacks against terrorist targets – jeopardizes existing Pakistani help in the war on terror, The Post noted.

Military success and an eventual negotiated settlement of the Afghanistan war are seen as virtually impossible without some level of Pakistani assistance, the paper pointed out.

COMMENTS (5)

Naveed Akhter | 10 years ago | Reply The cutting off of US aid, which some politicians and opinion-makers in the US are calling for, would have serious economic consequences for Pakistan. The macroeconomic implications for Pakistan from the possibility of reduced US assistance are significant. Total hard currency inflows from the US into Pakistan (loans, grants, exports, remittances and so on) amount to about $8 billion annually, which represents about 16 per cent of total inflows of around $50 billion. And while this amount seems small in relation to inflows from other countries, the US continues to have considerable influence over inflows from other countries as well, implying that the impact of a deterioration in bilateral relations could be wider than just the US-specific inflows. Considering that gross external financing requirements are around $12 billion annually over the next few years, the consequences of lost multilateral and bilateral financing would be much beyond just the external sector. This should provide a compelling reason for the Pakistani government, including the military, which receives about $1.5 billion a year in US direct support, to stay engaged with the US. It is therefore wise to take decisions with mind not heart. The so-called religious parties and some intellectuals devoid of the facts, tirade to cut off ties with US are unable to understand the economic situations. Their hue and cry could harm Pakistan.
Prayerer. | 10 years ago | Reply I just hope and pray both Pakistan and the US work out a way where it's a win win situation for both the nations. All eyes on Mr Kerry and Mr Zardari.
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