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Angry Pakistanis: US "cozying up" to new leaders

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Jon88, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Jon88

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    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistanis are saying that the United States --fearing resistance from Pakistan's new leadership -- is meddling in their nation's affairs so the U.S. can continue its deadly airstrikes in the northern tribal regions.

    The criticism notes that two top U.S. envoys landed in Pakistan this week to meet with newly elected leaders and that the meetings come before Pakistani leaders have picked a new Cabinet. The envoys arrived on the same day the prime minister was sworn in.

    In newspaper editorials and on the streets, Pakistanis say they are opposed to the terror threat that al Qaeda poses with its presence along Pakistan's porous border with Afghanistan. However, they also oppose U.S. bombing campaigns because, as one newspaper opined, it is Pakistani "blood that stains roadsides" after the airstrikes.

    Some in Pakistan said the envoys' visit was an attempt by the Bush administration to gauge whether it could count on the same level of allegiance from the new government that it got from President Pervez Musharraf.

    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, however, said during a Thursday news conference in Karachi that the trip was one of many periodic visits to Pakistan.

    An article in the Washington Post on Thursday helped stoke Pakistani suspicions. The report said that the United States has stepped up "unilateral" airstrikes against al Qaeda militants in Pakistan's tribal areas because it fears support from Islamabad might be slipping away.

    Negroponte said during the news conference that the article was rife with "misinformation and incorrect facts." The U.S. deals with militants in Pakistan through "cooperation and not through unilateral measures," he said.

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