Two missile strikes targeting suspected terrorist hideouts inside Pakistan in the first few days of his presidency indicates that new US President Barack Obama is going to be tough on Islamabad, when it comes to the war against terror, media reports said. This is the first tangible sign of President Obama’s commitment to sustained military pressure on terror groups, though Pakistanis broadly oppose such unilateral US action, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
In an interview to CNN, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday that air strikes had made US unpopular. “Nobody in Pakistan is comfortable with the strikes across the border. There is no doubt in that. Public opinion is very much against it,” Musharraf said.
“But as far as this issue of the new president — President Obama having taken over and this continuing —I have always been saying that policies don’t change with personalities; policies have national interest, and policies depend on an environment,” he said.
Throughout his election campaign, Obama had maintained that his administration would not hesitate from going ahead with unilateral strikes against targets inside Pakistan if it had actionable intelligence, even if Islamabad opposed it.
The Washington Post reported that though President Asif Ali Zardari had hoped for a warm relationship with the new administration, Obama’s national security team had expressed its intention to make firmer demands of Islamabad than the Bush administration”.