Tensions between the US and Pakistan appear to have reached a boiling point today, with Admiral Michael Mullen accusing the Haqqani Network of being a “veritable arm” of the Pakistani military’s spy agency, and claimed Pakistan had direct involvement in the attack on the US embassy in Kabul.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik was quick to respond, saying that if the US was going to persist with such accusations they ought to provide some sort of evidence. He also added that if the US wanted Pakistan to move against the Haqqanis they should provide them the intelligence on their locations.
Malik also warned the US not to invade, following repeated US comments suggesting a ground operation may be in the offing, saying that Pakistan would “not allow the boots on our ground, never” and that cooperation with the US would continue so long as Pakistan’s sovereignty is respected.
The Obama Administration has dramatically ratcheted up the rhetoric with respect to the Haqqani Network over the past several weeks, dismissing public claims of responsibility for terrorist attacks by the Afghan Taliban to claim that they were secretly Haqqani plots. Though this first moved toward claims Pakistan wasn’t invading its own tribal areas often enough, it seems to have morphed into elaborate accusations of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terror.
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