US Pressure Strains Relations with Pakistan

Clinton Visit Expected to Spark Further Questions About Alliance

With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heading to Pakistan later this week, she is unlikely to receive a warm welcome from the public. While the Zardari government largely remains firmly on the side of a greater American influence in the nation’s political affairs, the public is increasingly having reservations about an alliance which is recent years has brought them only continuous war and financial ruin.

But even as Pakistanis are re-examining their relationship with the US, the Obama Administration has been putting a very public amount of pressure on the nation to ratchet up their military offensives and spread them to new parts of the country.

Though the US has been increasing the amount of aid it intends to send to the impoverished country, the number of strings attached to that aid has also grown precipitously, leaving even many members of the government wondering if America’s billions aren’t a bit too expensive for their tastes.

Moreover, last month the US threatened to attack Quetta, one of Pakistan’s largest cities and the capital of its largest province. While the US pressure has managed to convince the military to launch what is proving to be a difficult battle in South Waziristan, it is unlikely they will stop there, and Clinton’s visit will likely spark a new round of calls to action.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.