Shut up, the Pakistani senator explained. “Pakistan says Obama pressure on militants hurts Afghanistan,” by Augustine Anthony for Reuters, October 7:
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s warning to Islamabad over suspected ties to militants will only fuel anti-Americanism and make it harder for Pakistan to support U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, a senior senator said Friday.
Pakistan is seen as critical to bringing peace to neighboring Afghanistan, but the United States has failed to persuade it to go after militant groups it says cross the border to attack Western forces in Afghanistan.
“This is not helping either the United States, Afghanistan or Pakistan,” Salim Saifullah, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, told Reuters.
“There will be pressure on the (Pakistan) government to get out of this war,” he said, referring to the U.S. war on militancy.
Obama warned Pakistan Thursday that its ties with “unsavory characters” had put relations with the United States at risk, as he ratcheted up pressure on Islamabad to cut links with militants mounting attacks in Afghanistan.
His comments are likely to deepen a crisis in the strategic alliance between the United States and Pakistan.
Obama accused Pakistan’s leaders of “hedging their bets” on Afghanistan’s future, but stopped short of threatening to cut off U.S. aid, despite calls from lawmakers for a tougher line over accusations that Pakistani intelligence supported strikes on U.S. targets in Afghanistan.
Pakistan says it has sacrificed more than any other nation that joined America’s global “war on terror” after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, losing 10,000 soldiers and security forces, and 30,000 civilians.
Pakistan’s double game, a hands-off policy of steam control against Islamic supremacists, and attempts to leverage jihadist groups to Islamabad’s own purposes have only increased the losses suffered by its own citizens.
But its performance against militants operating from its unruly tribal northwest border region is a frequent source of tension between Washington and Islamabad.
Pakistan is often accused of playing a double game, vowing to help the United States fight some militant groups while using others as proxies in Afghanistan….