`US-Pakistan ties close to collapse`

Last Updated: Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 15:55

Beijing: The death of two dozen Pakistani soldiers in a NATO attack was a "symbolic event indicating the progressive deterioration" of US-Pakistan bilateral ties, a Chinese daily said Sunday.

Pakistan reacted to the Nov 26 NATO air strike by closing the supply lines for US and NATO troops and also demanded American troops to leave the Shamsi air base in the country.

"This is the worst setback for the US-Pakistan anti-terrorism coalition since its establishment 10 years ago, and also a symbolic event indicating the progressive deterioration of US-Pakistan relations after the (Raymond) Davis case and the death of Osama bin Laden earlier this year," the People`s said wrote in an opinion piece.

Davis was a CIA contractor who shot dead two Pakistani men in Lahore. The US government had to intervene after he was arrested.

"The US-Pakistan anti-terrorism coalition is about to collapse," it said, adding that different strategic objectives were the basic causes behind the unsustainable relationship.

"An important reason leading the anti-terrorism coalition to the verge of collapse is that the US follows no rules in its anti-terrorism actions," it said.

"The US always says `rules must be followed` on the one hand, but on the other hand it ignores basic principles of international law while conducting anti-terrorism activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan," it said.

US drones have "recklessly trampled on Pakistan`s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity", and caused casualties of Pakistani civilians as well as soldiers.

The killing of bin Laden by US special troops in May reveals America`s selfishness and distrust in Pakistan, the daily said.

The US never regarded Pakistan as an equal anti-terrorism partner.

Since the beginning of 2011, the Pakistani government has been facing "heavy domestic pressure" about the anti-terrorism alliance.

Pakistani people regard the US crossing of the Pakistani border to kill bin Laden as a "public insult to their country" and have started to question the Pakistani army`s capacity to defend the country.

The relationship between Pakistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has also "dropped to the freezing point", it said.

"If the US does not change its policies and take measures to guarantee Pakistan`s sovereign and security, the alliance will inevitably come to an end," the daily concluded.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 15:46

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