US-Pak relationships to take a limited form
US officials believe the country’s relationship with Pakistan has been seriously damaged and a counter-terrorism alliance can survive only in a limited form, The New York Times reported late Sunday.
Citing unnamed US and Pakistani officials, the newspaper said officials acknowledge this deterioration will complicate the ability to launch attacks against extremists based in Pakistan and move supplies into Afghanistan.
US-Pakistani relations took a serious hit last month after a series of US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan.
A joint US-NATO investigation concluded that a disastrous spate of errors and botched communications led to the deaths. Pakistan has rejected the findings.
The United States will be forced to restrict drone strikes, limit the number of its spies and soldiers on the ground and spend more to transport supplies through Pakistan to allied troops in Afghanistan, the report said.
United States aid to Pakistan will also be reduced sharply, the paper noted.
“We’ve closed the chapter on the post-9/11 period,” The Times quoted a senior US official as saying. “Pakistan has told us very clearly that they are re-evaluating the entire relationship.”
American officials say the relationship will endure in some form, but that the contours will not be clear until Pakistan completes its wide-ranging review of the November incident in the coming weeks, the paper pointed out.