Obama team on wrong foot with Pakistan?
US: US President Barack Obama has made rooting out extremism from
Pakistan a key priority, but experts from both countries warn that his
team is off to a shaky start.
Japan on Friday holds a major donors meeting for Pakistan, but
Islamabad has already bristled at proposed conditions in the US aid
US envoy Richard Holbrooke, who will take part in the Tokyo talks,
and Admiral Mike Mullen, the top US military commander, last week
visited Islamabad, where they faced a storm of protest over US drone
attacks that have killed both wanted militants and civilians.
Pakistani analyst Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at
the Washington-based Atlantic Council, was not charitable about the
Obama team's debut in Islamabad. "This was probably the worst ever visit
by an American team to South Asia in history," Nawaz said. "It was a
"If this is how you are going to win friends, I just wonder how you
are going to create enemies," Nawaz told a seminar at The Jamestown
Foundation, another think-tank.
Nawaz faulted Holbrooke and Mullen for publicly demanding that
Pakistan's civilian President Asif Ali Zardari rein in elements of the
intelligence service believed to support extremists.
Obama has thrown his support behind a bill before Congress to pump
1.5 billion dollars annually into Pakistan for at least five years to
build schools and infrastructure that can nurture democracy. Washington,