WASHINGTON - "With a partner like Pakistan, who needs enemies", a US newspaper posed the question to ridicule the South Asian country amid intensification of an anti-Pakistan campaign in American media as Islamabad-Washington relations worsen.
On the electronic media also, Pakistan is the usual punching bag for US lawmakers, government officials and analysts calling for cut off of all American aid and other punitive measures because of Islamabad's lack of cooperation in the war on terrorism.
In its commentary, The Kansas City Star said, "To speak of Pakistan as America’s partner in the war against global terrorism is both an abuse of fact and an insult to the public’s intelligence.
"The better description of that chaotic and incompetently governed nation is as a haven for Islamist radicals and a deliberate obstructer of the attempt by the US and its coalition allies to establish a safe and civil society in neighbouring Afghanistan."
C.W. Gusewelle, who wrote the commentary, said, "No surer proof of that can be found than the recent fate of the Pakistani doctor (Shakil Afridi) who helped the US discover the location of Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, enabling Navy SEALs to end the life of the world’s most notorious terrorist leader.
"What was the good doctor’s reward for aiding his country’s 'partner'? He was turned over by the Islamabad regime to a tribal court, sentenced to 33 years and incarcerated in a jail holding many militants. His life is thought to be in serious jeopardy."
A commentary in The Santa Maria Times, said, "There’s that old adage about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. It’s difficult to gauge where Pakistan fits in that equation, but it seems certain that the beneficiaries of so much US military aid don’t always have our best interests at heart when it comes to the systematic dismantling of al Qaeda’s leadership.
"Pakistan protests nearly every use of US technology to eliminate the terrorist organisation’s power structure, contending it encroaches on its sovereignty and violates international law. They have long charged that 'innocent' people are killed by the unmanned drones that have been so successful including the most recent elimination of al-Qaeda’s second in command and a number of others around him.
"But most intelligence and military experts agree that it would be a serious mistake for the US to pull back from its mission of destroying the al-Qaeda network anyway possible. That effort began only shortly after the September 2001 Osama bin Laden-directed US attacks.
"The tension between the supposed allies has been exacerbated by the fact that the most-wanted terrorist in history was able to elude capture for so long, and ultimately was brought to justice not far from a Pakistan military training academy where he had been ensconced for who knows how long.
"The relationship between the two countries has been further damaged by the recent decision to send to jail the doctor who helped US intelligence make sure the occupant of the compound was actually who they thought it was. The doctor was given more than 30 years, a term that actually amounts to a death sentence.
"Still the Pakistani military benefits to the tune of more than $1 billion a year in aid from US taxpayers while harbouring and seemingly protecting the very forces that seek to undo us.”
"The attack that killed Yahya al-Libi, a popular Libyan jihadist who helped direct al Qaeda after bin Laden’s death sent the right message from President Barack Obama to both the terrorists and Pakistan officials. The drone use seemingly will continue as American forces prepare to gear down their role in Afghanistan.
"And why not, considering how positive the results have been? ... Libi was both a spiritual leader and an operational manager, according to reports. No successor is on the horizon."
"Do we need to get out of that part of the world? Probably. But our strategic interests require us to remain operational until we can be satisfied that we have curbed the threat to our own national security posed by terrorists who find sanctuary in havens provided by our so called allies," a coulmnist wrote.