Lull in Pak-US ties: Haqqani called to Islamabad for briefing

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Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani, has been summoned to Islamabad to brief the top leadership about Pakistan-US relations. Well-placed sources quoted by a private TV channel said an apparent lull was prevailing after Secretary Clinton’s Pakistan visit, but deep down, the US reservations towards Pakistan were still very much present. “We anticipate the relationship aggravating again in the days to come”, the source feared. Given this background, Islamabad has requested Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani, to brief the top leadership about these intricacies and challenges in bilateral relationship at some point in the near future and he is expected to travel to Pakistan after the hearings in the US Congress and Senate and other related issues. Contrary to some reports, he has not been “summoned” to Pakistan immediately and will only be going later this month, once the agenda involving Pakistan in the Congress and Senate comes to a conclusion.
In the next couple of weeks, the US Congress is expected to take-up appropriations bill involving assistance to Pakistan in the mark-up hearing and the mood of the members towards Pakistan, in a Republican-dominated House, is not very encouraging, sources pointed out adding that “any serious cut-back in Pakistan s assistance will be seen as another blow to the relationship”. “Unless and until core differences are resolved between both countries, including the position in the war on terror and the future of Afghanistan, no major headway could be made,” sources said. “It is unlikely that the US will severe ties altogether because it fears a repeat of 1989 but it will continue to exert pressure on Pakistan to achieve the desired goals”, sources pointed out. To a question, they said that “US would maintain a relationship with Pakistan on two parallel tracks in the foreseeable future, meaning thereby that it will appreciate whenever there’s good cooperation and will ask tough questions if the situation is otherwise”.
The recent aggressive statements of Republican presidential candidates in a way were also indicative of the prevalent mood in the US towards Pakistan, the sources argued. Meanwhile, Haqqani is also meeting some big names in the US media on a breakfast meeting on Wednesday to convey the Pakistani viewpoint on critical issues, in a bid to encounter reporting based on allegations against Pakistan in the recent past.

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