Pakistan-US ties hits new low; who will blink first? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan-US ties hits new low; who will blink first?

delhi Updated: Sep 26, 2011 15:53 IST
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The standoff between the US and Pakistan has hit a new low since it started deteriorating after Osama bin Laden was killed by the US forces on May 2 in Abbottabad.

According media reports, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has been put on red alert in view of possible American action. Fearing US attack, best fighter aircraft have been deployed at the western border. There is fear of US air attack from Afghanistan on North Waziristan.

An emergency meeting of Pakistan's top military commanders has also been called on Monday. The meet has been called to build consensus on Pakistan's stance over the US threats. Going by the recent developments, it seems that Pakistan will choose defiance over compliance, however in recent spats, the two sides have always avoided breaking apart despite severe strain in ties.

Meanwhile, amid diplomatic row over alleged links between ISI and terror groups, a top American senator has said that US needs to have "all options" on the table if Pakistan does not abandon the policy of embracing terrorism as part of its national strategy.

"If they continue to embrace terrorism as a part of their national strategy, we're going to have to put all options on the table including defending our troops," senator Lindsay Graham told the Fox news in an interview on Sunday.

Using a tough language against Pakistan, Graham said it is a time of choosing for Pakistan, which so far the US has been identifying as a key ally in the war against terrorism.

"I am saying that we know the Haqqani Network operates with impunity inside of Pakistan in a town called Miranshah," he said, alleging that Pakistan is terrorism itself.

He said top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, are right that the ISI, the intelligence agency in Pakistan assist them directly and indirectly.

Even as the Pakistanis have done "some good things with us against al Qaida," he said it believes that "we are leaving Afghanistan."

"They're betting the Taliban will come back. The Pakistan military lives like kings within Pakistan. A democracy in Afghanistan is a threat to Pakistani military control in their own mind," the top Senator said.

He underlined that it is "a time of choosing" for Pakistan.

US military commanders have accused Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of supporting the Haqqani network for carrying out two attacks on the US embassy in Kabul and US military base in Afghanistan's Wadak province this month.

(with PTI inputs)