Its hard to believe ties could get any worse, but US officials are once again back to railing against the Pakistani government, publicly accusing them of having direct ties with the Haqqani Network even as they claim to be holding private talks in Washington DC.
The Obama Administration has made it a point of blaming the Haqqanis for several high profile attacks lately, even rejecting claims of responsibility from groups inside Afghanistan in favor of suggesting they were Haqqani plots.
The Haqqanis have often been cited as an excuse for US drone strikes against Pakistan, so it is clear that the administration would like to play them up as a threat. Blaming Pakistan has also been a way to deflect attention from the worsening security in Afghanistan. The efforts seem to be doing major harm to relations with Pakistan, and officials like Leon Panetta seem to be looking to antagonize the Pakistani military at this point, needling them publicly at every opportunity.
Already Pakistani officials have lashed out at the criticisms, urging the US to stop blaming them for everything that goes wrong in Afghanistan and advising them to focus on the many, many militants operating across southern Afghanistan. Both sides insist a break in their relationship would benefit no one, but it is hard to believe that the situation can continue to worsen without a split at this point.