WASHINGTON: Observing that developments in Pakistan in the aftermath of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death has fueled bilateral distrust and acrimony unseen in the post-2001 period, a Congressional report has said that significant policy changes from the Obama Administration with regard to Islamabad may be in the offing.
“(The U.S.) President Obama and other top U.S. officials have maintained a generally positive posture towards Pakistan in the weeks following the Abbottabad raid, while also noting that serious questions have arisen over the circumstances of bin Laden’s refuge,” said a latest report on U.S.-Pakistan relationship by Congressional Research Service (CRS), an independent research wing of the U.S. Congress .
The CRS report running into 28 pages said, “The U.S. government reportedly has no conclusive evidence indicating that official Pakistan had knowledge of bin Laden’s whereabouts, but officials in both countries are said to be waiting anxiously for details from a large cache of intelligence found in bin Laden’s compound, some of which might implicate Pakistani agents” .
Privately, senior Administration officials reportedly are divided over the future of the bilateral relationship, with some at an apparent loss for patience and advocating strong reprisals for perceived Pakistani intransigence. Thus, significant policy changes may be in the offing, CRS said, which prepared the report for US lawmakers.
Evidence for this was found in the statements of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry, the senior-most U.S. official to visit Pakistan after bin Laden’s death.