Washington: Observing that the CIA doesn`t trust ISI because it has demonstrated repeatedly that it isn`t trustworthy, a top American daily today said that
Pakistan needs to be a given an ultimatum on the same lines as it was immediately after 9/11.
"In the wake of 9/11, the Bush Administration famously sent Secretary of State Colin Powell to Islamabad to explain that the US was going to act forcefully to protect itself and that Pakistan had to choose whose side it was on. It`s time to present Pakistan with the same choice again," The Wall Street Journal said.
Noting that relations between Washington and Islamabad historically have never been easy, and now they seem to have reached something of a watershed; the journal said Pakistan`s behaviour hasn`t exactly been exemplary.
"Pakistan`s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, has longstanding links to terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Haqqani network," it said.
"The government and military have made no move against the Quetta Shura, the operational nerve center in Pakistan of Taliban leader Mullah Omar," the daily said, adding that Islamabad`s US cooperation has also been double-edged.
"The government of President Asif Ali Zardari allowed the US to increase the number of drone strikes. Yet it has made a point of complaining about them publicly, playing a particularly cheap form of politics to shore up its waning popularity with a domestic constituency smart enough to see through the hypocrisy," it said.
"The Pakistani army was also happy to cooperate with the US when the targets of the strikes were members of the Pakistani Taliban who had their sights set on Islamabad. But the army has been less cooperative when the targets were the
Afghan Taliban based in Pakistan or the ISI`s terrorist partners," the journal said.
The Journal`s opinion piece `The Pakistan Ultimatum` comes within days of the meeting between the spy chiefs of the United States and Pakistan.
"So Pakistan now demands that the United States withdraw hundreds of American intelligence operatives and special-ops trainers from its soil and stop the CIA drone strikes on al Qaeda, Taliban and affiliated terrorists. Maybe the Obama Administration can inform its friends in Islamabad that, when it comes to this particular fight, the US will continue to pursue its enemies wherever they may be, with or without Pakistan`s cooperation," the daily said.