A leading American newspaper has said that with Pervez Musharraf out of the picture, the US is in quandary over whom to support in Pakistan in their fight against Taliban as civilian leaders Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Yousaf Raza Gilani are less than ideal for Washington.
Now that their close ally Pervez Musharraf has become history, the political sniping has heightened jitters among American officials, who are struggling to figure out whom they should support since there is no one actually in charge even as the Taliban insurgency gains steam, the New York Times said.
"Civilian leaders, Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, are all less than ideal to become the go-to figure for the United States in Pakistan," the daily said.
"What is more, doubts are growing among American officials over the level of cooperation they can expect from the new army chief, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, a former head of intelligence who took over the post from Mr Musharraf last November," it added.
After "glowing initial reviews" by the Americans, General Kayani has appeared less interested in dealing with Taliban than with the sagging morale of his under-trained, under-equipped troops, it added.
"In my view they won't do aggressive counter-insurgency because they can't," Christine Fair, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, was quoted as saying of the Pakistani Army.