US-Pak ties 'frozen' in mistrust over 'unauthorised' bin Laden raid: Pak military leaders
Islamabad, Sept 7(ANI): Ties between the United States and Pakistan are "frozen" in mutual distrust over the unilateral US raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad on May 2, senior military and political leaders have said.
Despite ten years of co-operation with the US in the war on terror, in which an estimated 35,000 Pakistani civilians, 3000 soldiers and senior political leaders have lost their lives, Washington has denigrated Pakistan's armed forces and undermined its sovereignty, The Telegraph quoted them, as saying.
America's decision to launch the bin Laden raid without informing Pakistan's leaders, and the killing of two motorcycle gunmen in Lahore by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in January, caused widespread anger in Pakistan and highlighted the need for Islamabad to review its co-operation with Washington and rein in CIA agents it regards as out of control, they added.
"There's anti-US feeling prevailing in the country. If we are seen to be moving against the people at the behest of a foreign power, it would be a disaster," one senior military chief was quoted as saying.
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major-General Athar Abbas, was quoted as saying that the US had not kept to an understanding to defer to its judgment on waging the war on terror within Pakistan, and had sought to push Islamabad into launching offensives against Taliban strongholds despite its fears that they would cause civilian casualties and drive tribesmen into supporting the militants.
General Abbas stressed the importance of having written terms of engagement between both nations' intelligence agencies, so that there is "no element of confusion or misinterpretation from the respective sides".
"It should be known as to the number [of agents], the footprint should be formalised. We do understand there are different frames of reference. The other side will see the problem through their prism, but this is our land, people and problem and we have to sort it out," he added.
Tariq Azeem, a senior member of Pakistan's Senate, said that the US' disregard for public opinion against drone attacks, and failure to inform its leaders about the bin Laden raid, had damaged bilateral relations and tarnished its image.
"There's little doubt that Pakistan feels very strongly that our best may not be good enough for you, but we've given our best. We've lost 3,600 soldiers, including a three star general, 35,000 civilians. Hardly a day goes by when Pakistan is not fighting. If a single NATO soldier dies in Afghanistan people talk about the sacrifice, but how come Pakistani blood is not seen as important?" he said. (ANI)
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