American ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, was summoned to the foreign office on Thursday as Islamabad protested being kept out of the loop on the Osama bin Laden raid.
The same day, Prime Minister Gilani commented in an interview about the widening trust deficit between the ISI and the CIA, raising concerns about the state of Pakistan-US relations.
Foreign policy analysts in Islamabad interpreted these developments to mean that relations between Washington and Islamabad are worsening, more so because of US demands of accountability from the ISI over its possible role in giving refuge to Osama bin Laden.
“The ISI in many respects runs Pakistan’s foreign policy, especially with the US. Given this, worsening relations with the ISI means worsening relations with Pakistan,” said one commentator.
In this context, many say that the visit by President Zardari to Russia, and of Prime Minister Gilani to China in the coming days is being seen as a move by the Pakistani establishment to move away from the US in days to come.
In Thursday’s interview which was widely quoted by the local media, Gilani that cooperation between the two intelligence agencies had broken down and the US and Pakistan has developed different strategies to fight the war against terror.
Ironically, while Pakistan said that it was having problems cooperating with the US on anti-terrorism efforts, Russia and Pakistan on Thursday pledged to coordinate efforts in the fight against terror.
The Russian trip is Zardari’s first high-profile visit abroad since bin Laden was killed.