US takes off velvet gloves in dealing with Pakistan: Daily

The daily said Pak Prez is reported to have allowed increased drone strikes.

Updated: Apr 17, 2011, 13:28 PM IST

Islamabad: Washington seems to have "slid off its velvet gloves" while dealing with Islamabad, highlighted by the increasing drone attacks, a Pakistani daily said.

An editorial in the News International on Sunday said: "Washington appears to have slid off its velvet gloves - or even any plain cotton ones it may have worn as far as its dealings with Pakistan go."

"The US is said to be annoyed over the clumsy strategy of allowing drone attacks privately, but then, condemning them publically."

The editorial said that President Asif Ali Zardari is reported to have allowed increased drone strikes, "which explains the record number of strikes we saw in 2010".

"Patience with such duplicity is obviously wearing thin in other places, as it is at home."

"It is also said that Washington does not trust the ISI - and we wonder if it is only a coincidence that the latest indications of a change in line came soon after a meeting between the intelligence chiefs of both countries."

The editorial went on to say that joint missions "with the ISI were widely reported to have been suspended in the aftermath of the untidy Raymond Davis affair, and there has been reason to believe that some CIA agents may, at least temporarily, have been pulled out of the country".

US official Raymond Davis had shot dead two Pakistanis in Lahore in January this year and the incident caused considerable strain on US-Pakistan relations.

"To sum up a highly complex situation rather briefly, we can say the government seems in effect to have botched things up rather badly. It clearly does not have, for now, the capacity to withdraw from its bear-hug relationship with the US."