Islamabad: If Pakistan does not reopen the NATO supply lines to Afghanistan that were closed after an attack on a border post killed 24 soldiers in November, the US may have to rely on India to help out its troops, a leading Pakistani daily said.
"The delay in finalising parliamentary recommendations for US-Pakistan relations is causing confusion in Washington, where the Obama administration seems unable to decide how to proceed with rebuilding this key relationship," the Dawn said.
While the White House and the State Department maintain they will wait patiently for Pakistan to complete the review, a top US Army official said America would have to rely on India and the northern distribution network.
"If we can`t negotiate or successfully negotiate the reopening of ground lines of communication with Pakistan, we have to default and rely on India and the northern distribution network," Lt Gen Frank Panter, deputy commandant for installations and logistics, was quoted as saying.
"Both are expensive propositions and it increases the deployment or redeployment," the Army official general told the US Congress.
Other US Army officials have said that the failure to reopen NATO routes through Pakistan could delay the schedule for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan by 2014.
American analysts, however, say that the Obama administration, which is seeking re-election this year, will not want any delay as the war has already become very unpopular in the US.
According to CNN, the Obama administration was now talking to Pakistan about possible changes in the way the US was conducting drone strikes in the northwest tribal region.
US officials have reportedly offered to provide Pakistan advance notice of drone strikes and even modify the targets.
Senate Intelligence Committee chairperson Dianne Feinstein, who would visit Pakistan next month, told CNN she had no confidence that the relationship with Pakistan would smooth out any time soon.