Monday, November 16, 2009
Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders are tangling in a series of political confrontations that could lead to a constitutional crisis or worse after the New Year, officials in both Islamabad and Washington tell NBC News.
The anti-Americanism is manifested particularly in Pakistani fears of abandonment. Pakistanis have seen this before: The U.S. denied all aid to Pakistan in 1992 after U.S. intelligence determined the Pakistani military had assembled nuclear weapons during a crisis the year before, violating the Pressler Amendment on aid to Pakistan. The experience left Pakistani leaders bitter – and, according to U.S. officials, paranoid.
Two recent stories being passed around Islamabad are indicative of the sentiment. Both are associated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit with Kayani on Oct. 29, one of several she was required to have, given Pakistan’s deeply divided government.
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In one story, Kayani presented Clinton with “evidence” of a conspiracy involving the CIA, Israel’s Mossad and India’s intelligence agency, RAW. According to the story, the three agencies had been responsible for some of the terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds in Pakistani cities.
In the other, Kayani supposedly told Clinton that Pakistan was aware the U.S. has been talking to the Taliban through the good offices of Saudi King Abdullah and didn’t appreciate it. Indeed, Kayani did dispatch his ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha, to Riyadh to meet the king.
The U.S. denies both stories.
This article was posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm